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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 145 January 29, 2015

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1. Tempus Fugit - January 29, 2015


Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals, and Fellowship of Friends Discussion
Part 1 through Part 10


The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33


Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through the current page


These links will allow you to access every page of this blog from its beginning in 2006.

Read with an open mind and you will find out the truth about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

And if you are a member of the Fellowship of Friends you may find your path to freedom.

2. nigel harris price - January 29, 2015

I was a little harsh on the American people some posts back. This woman, like Dylan Marlais Thomas, had an addictive personality – but yet another ‘fractured genius’…..listen to this (and, especially the first verse) and cry with joy for her soul…..Nigel


3. brucelevy - January 29, 2015
4. Messages From Marconi - January 29, 2015

How conscious can you be when dozens or even hundreds of people wish you would die a painful death? How conscious is your school when thousands of people hope that it closes down? How beneficial is your life when so many curse it? How lovely is your friendship when most of your “friends” feel raped and robbed by you?

Maybe you’re not exactly as wonderful as you imagine.

5. Mick - January 30, 2015

Outside the Fellowship REB seems to be regarded as both laughable and despicable. It is somewhat surprising that his egomaniacal behavior has not yet evoked a more severe reaction from his victims. Would a punch in the nose or a kick in the groin be undeserved? No wonder he hides out.

6. silentpurr - January 30, 2015

It’s also possible that RB lives in the belief that he has helped his ‘students’ and ‘loves’ each one deeply. I remember him to be sincere and I was made to believe the difficulties he created for me to be for my own personal growth. I did have little glimpses of his madness before, but could only confirm it after having left; cutting all ties with the FOF.

7. ton2u - January 30, 2015



Burton’s “god complex” – or however one cares to label the delusional condition in question, is evident I think to anyone outside of the cult… the most recent suggestion here was bruce’s link above…. whatever this “conscious bob” might believe, FOF “students” literally have to “buy into” into a delusional belief “system”
….or leave.

8. ton2u - January 30, 2015

a thought on “leaving” and why some folks might stay:

“The hardest thing in life is letting go of what you thought was real.”

9. WonderingWhosWatching - January 31, 2015

I purpose:
The hardest thing in life is
admitting you made a mistake
or were wrong about something;
but not just to other people,
but especially to yourself.

10. shardofoblivion - January 31, 2015

So could Burton himself ever raise himself up so high as to admit he has made a colossal mistake with his life? It seems very unlikely, he allows no one who can correct him within his circle, so it would have to come from within himself. But let’s indulge in some optimistic day dreaming… One morning after wiping his lips clean from milking his current puer delicatus, he glances at the vainglorious portrait of himself with a dog and a fireplace,
and a twinge of insight flutters deep within his smug and satisfied psychopathic consciousness. “Could it be that my play is more tragic than even I had realised?” “Could it be that C influence made me blind to my own faults to humiliate me, so that I couldn’t see that bringing myself to a climax with the assistance of people who are not enjoying themselves, is a form of Negative Emotion, whereas everyone else could see it as plain as the nose on my face?”

He has a rush of what he later terms his Decrystallization Energy, which he is pleased to discover is even more heady than his original (now know to be false) crystallisation all those years ago. He dissolves the FoF, and goes to live with a Dominatrix who will punish and humiliate him on behalf of C influence for the rest of his sorry days, while encouraging his former students to “work out their own salvation with diligence”

As if…

11. WhaleRider - January 31, 2015

Here’s a chilling example of what it is like to expect an apology from a psychopath.

I read a story once written by a woman whose father sexually molested her for many years starting as a young child.

Apparently her mother didn’t know or refused to admit what was going on, and the two never spoke about it. The molestation went on through high school.

Only after graduating from high school was the poor woman finally able to escape her father, leave home, and begin to live her own life.

She never confronted him nor forgave him for his actions, and his crimes went unpunished.

Since molestation creates such complex feelings for the victim, she claimed she didn’t hate him, but certianly had no love for him either.

Eventually, she was able to have a successful career as a writer, which greatly helped her come to terms with her past.

Several decades later, the woman found out her father was dying of cancer. She was curious about whether or not he might show some remorse for his actions. With great courage she traveled some distance to the hospital, arriving unannounced.

The sight of her emaciated father lying in his hospital bed on life support startled her at first. He was no longer the powerful, controlling and frightening man she had remembered him as.

She could see in his eyes that he recognized her, but he said nothing.

They both sat in silence for some time.

There were no other visitors, nor any get well cards by his bedside. (I’m not sure where her mother was at the time.)

After awhile all he finally said to her was, “Alas. Alack. Once you squeeze the toothpaste out, you can’t put it back.”

At that point she realized she wasn’t going to get the apology for which she had hoped, nor did she feel any need nor desire to forgive someone so unrepentant, even her own father, so she turned and walked out.

But she was so grateful to have summoned the strength to see him one last time, for he was no longer the powerful demon who had haunted her in her dreams her whole life.

She was left with the image of a wasted shell of a man at the end of his life, dying alone and unloved, with those around him simply waiting for him to expire.

That’s how I feel about burton.

I did happen to see burton on a street corner a few years ago, surrounded with his neophyte followers, one of them, probably the Isreali dude, giving me a dirty look as I approached. He towered over his entourage, slacked jawed, with that behind the scenes look of petulant dissatisfaction I had grown accustomed to seeing when he wasn’t attempting to impress anyone with his coy smile.

I don’t believe he recognized me. The light changed in my favor, and I simply walked by him, with that tingly sense of fear in my gut, instructing me to keep my distance from such “a moving source of evil radiation” as Gurdjieff put it.

I could tell he had not changed, and from what I read on this blog had gotten far worse.

I can admit it was a mistake to have joined a cult. In retrospect, there were people in my life to whom I could have reached out and revealed my plans, which may have given me a better perspective.

But I joined before the Internet, the Jim Jones mass suicide, and before “the Guru Papers” was published. I can forgive myself for that, but that doesn’t stop me from standing up and warning others, otherwise I fall prey to victimization, suffering in silence, which equals death, IMO.

It is important for followers who leave to know there is a community of others willing and able to empathize with them, because they are certianly not going to recieve any empathy from the cult.

What I am most grateful for is to have made lemonade out of lemons…which only began the day I left the FOF.

12. ton2u - January 31, 2015
13. ton2u - January 31, 2015
14. nigel harris price - February 1, 2015

The eternally gorgeous Sissel sings of her native Norway…..

15. Mick - February 1, 2015

#6 silentpurr – It might be a small consolation to think that the self deluded are leading the self deluded or the innocent or the sincere.
“Self delusion is unfortunate but hypocrisy is inexcusable. The self deluded doesn’t know, but thinks that he knows. The hypocrite knows that he does not know, but pretends that he does.”

16. ton2u - February 1, 2015
17. ton2u - February 1, 2015

with caption —

18. ton2u - February 1, 2015
19. Barbara - February 2, 2015

The Egg, Short Film- by Andy Weir


…don’t know if this applies to psychopaths, lol

20. Mick - February 2, 2015

The following has been posted before and may be of interest to those not averse to spiritual discourse:

“For one to declare that he is a saint and allow people to bow down to and revere him, without real authority, is to feed one’s ego with intense happiness. Simultaneously, with the feeding of the ego comes a feeling of well-being.
One who is addicted to opium (eating or smoking) derives a similar feeling of well-being, though temporarily. After a time, the opium addict begins to feel the after-effect of opium such as severe constipation, loss of appetite, headache, dullness and drowsiness. He then begins to realize that it would have been better had he not become addicted. But, unfortunately, he cannot give up the habit. He has become its slave. He realizes this too late and sinks into deeper addiction, being tempted to take greater and greater quantities of opium to keep pace with the gradual loss of the feeling of well-being.
Similarly, one who indulges in happiness by allowing people to bow down to him, without real authority, feels the prick of conscience later on. And with this feeling he realizes that he has no authority, but has got so used to the habit of feeding his ego in this manner that he is unable to stop the practice. He continues indulging and, after a time, does not pay heed to the pricks of conscience. He becomes numb to the voice within.
After years of addiction, it so happens that one day the opium addict is found lying unconscious in a gutter of filth. An extra overdose proves tragic for the addict who lost complete control over himself. The passerby scoffs, ridicules, points at him as a confirmed opium addict.
In the same way, a person who poses as a saint, without really being one, starts to behave in an unworthy manner after years of indulgence in addiction to overdoses of homage. With him, unlike the opium addict, his unworthy behavior is accounted as “perfection” by his followers. When he abuses others his words are accepted as blessings! When he beats someone, his beating is accepted as the descent of his grace! When he indulges in lovemaking with the opposite sex, it is accepted as pure love!
In short, whatever he does, anything and everything, is accepted in a spirit of reverence and love by the followers of the man who poses as a saint. The more unruly his behavior, the greater the admiration of the followers. And the greater the admiration, the richer becomes the feeding of the ego of that man. Eventually, he falls from the high pedestal of admiration because, not being a genuine saint, the rich doses of admiration and reverence prove too much for the ego to digest. With his fall this “opiumized” saint is ridiculed. Those very persons who once called themselves his followers now scoff and call him a fraud.
Just as opium addict has his personal friends who extol the effects of opium and bring into their fold innocent people, so, too, a person who poses as a saint has a ring of followers who extol him and his “miracles” to attract others to their fold. Such miracles may be just coincidences, or even genuine experiences of simple and devout followers who get desired results through their own faith in and love even for such an opiumized saint.
One who has no authority and yet permits people to bow down to him plays a losing game, while those who bow down gain. The unburdening of sankaras – mental impressions – of those who bow down at his feet is the cause of his loss, for he takes on the sankaras that can only be wiped off by many more births.
The point to be considered is this: if thousands can benefit at the cost of a false saint, should this person be allowed to continue? If such a person is already in contact with a Perfect Master and loves him, the Master immediately puts a stop to this and corrects the man’s shortcomings, and warns his followers about such unauthorized behavior. If, however, such a person is not already in contact with a Perfect Master, the Master never interferes, because eventually this person also derives some benefit. The Master knows that this is the play of the ego. The cause of any eventual benefit to such a deluded person is that, at the cost of his own condemnation, he proved to be a dust bin for thousands to heap their sanskaras therein.
There is no doubt that in his subsequent birth his past behavior makes the person suffer much more due to this burden of acquired sanskaras. But, with the intensity of his suffering, the redeeming factor is the speed with which these acquired sanskaras get wiped off. They are wiped off in proportion to the intensity of suffering. Along with the wiping off of the acquired sanskaras, his own sanskaras also get wiped off speedily.
Just as an unauthorized person, posing as a saint proves a source of benefit to thousands, so also he proves of harm to many. All this is a play in illusion!
As an opium-addict feels happy to give a tiny bit of opium to another, and that other, when he gets the taste of it, hands over another small dose to a friend, they thus create a circle of opium-eaters. The two of three persons close to the opiumized saint of our discourse start spreading news that such and such a woman was blessed with a child, and that another got her wish fulfilled, and that he, a “saint,” performed many such miracles. A clique of followers is created around the opiumized saint.
This happy picture does not last long, for after some years it so happens that a least one person finds out one day that this saint, his Guru, is a fraud and is not God-Realized. The impact of such a great setback in his confirmed belief is so forceful that all his sanskaras, which he had inadvertently transferred on to the “saint” in his belief and devotion, all of a sudden recoil on him and overburden him afresh. Thus, the person who had placed faith in the opiumized saint suffers a great deal.
Let us view the picture from another angle: suppose I am the opiumized saint and you love me and revere me as the Perfect Master. Your love becomes so deep and your faith so great that you actually make progress on the spiritual path and you really begin to have experiences of the path. In this instance, you are surely benefitted at the hands of the opiumized saint. Whereas in the previous case, the opiumized saint has done a great harm.
Through such false saints harm and benefit recoil and accrue.”

Feb. 16, 1958

21. Mick - February 2, 2015

Hey Bob, whaddya think about the game? I thought it was the worst coaching decision ever. It is very rare for coaches and not the players or dumb luck to be the cause of a loss.

22. Robert Stolzle - February 3, 2015

Mick, et al-

I didn’t have dog in the fight and it seems that the Lord giveth (Seattle’s pass reception) and the Lord taketh away (the pass interception) is one interpretation of the end of the game. Maybe it was payment for “deflategate”, New England didn’t really win, Seattle just gave the win away. I love this kind of foolishness, it gives me hope that maybe there is a God after all…….and that he has a sense of humor. In more serious speculation, the Seattle coach always seemed to me to be especially full of himself and proud of his tricks, so it seems fitting that he got burned. Now, if our least favorite egotist could just be burned, too; but maybe that is to come.

The post regarding false saints, opium addicts and sanskaras is pretty convoluted for me, but it seems to come down to a question of whether the messenger taints the message. Not to conflate too much, but in the FoF the medium is the message……assuming there is a message…. and the message has been made up by the messenger–RB–to suit his personal interests. To assume that he is just the messenger is a big mistake, not as big as assuming he has the students’ best interests at heart, but a mistake nevertheless.

It is my suspicion that RB invokes “C influence” as a way of salving his rare twinges of guilt and/or self doubt. It seems to me this is the easiest way to “self justify” the bad behavior, beyond the lame “denying force” explanations for all the stupid crap to which FoF students had to submit. Did anyone else posting here ever wonder about the extreme contrasts between the “how special we are” posturings and the lame- assed way things were often done with the denying force idea as a justification? In my day this was particularly evident at The Farm with all its’ slave labor masquerading as inane “work octaves”.

Bob Stolzle

23. Messages From Marconi - February 3, 2015

Call to current Fellowship of Friends members to join the Bebad and become a SUICIDE BUMMER.

What exactly is a suicide bummer? Well, if you find yourself at an event like the one shown in the picture linked below then we ask that you place yourself in a centrally exposed location and push the button on your negativity vest and shout a NEGATIVE EMOTION at the top of your lungs.

Example: “Hans Christian Anderson is a FUCKING ASSHOLE!”

This will have the effect of crashing the conscious atmospherics of the charade and causing your own ejection from the cult. If enough of these SUICIDE BUMMERS sacrifice themselves then eventually the conscious force field that keeps all reality from intervening in the Fellowship fantasy will be destroyed.

24. shardofoblivion - February 3, 2015

#23 great photo Marconi! I love the guy with the white trousers solicitously holding the stabilising knob on the wooden steps, in case the guy proposing the toast topple and fall from the bottom step 🙂

Also doesn’t Burton look louche these days?

25. brucelevy - February 3, 2015

I would say more douche then louche.

26. Parson Yorick - February 3, 2015

It bothers me, seeing grown-ups carrying balloons.

27. jomopinata - February 3, 2015

We should not forget Anton Mesmer’s hold on the French imagination during the 1780s, the era of hot-air balloons, just before the French Revolution.

28. Messages From Marconi - February 3, 2015

If one were to be so idle and yet curious (along with simply crazy) as to count the balloons in the scene (the full picture in the link), the number that would be arrived at is 34. Taking Jomo’s indications as a clue (the French Revolution being just 35 years earlier), if one were to look up the year 1834 on Wikipedia (the free encyclopedia, the one which resulted in the Encyclopedia Britannica ceasing to print hardbound volumes) then in the month of July of that year, the same month the picture under scrutiny was taken during the celebrations of the 44th year of the Fellowship’s insanity, there would be the glaringly suggestive event in history known as the Spanish Inquisition (anyone?) being suppressed by royal decree. Also in that year, Athens became modern Greece’s capital city. Babbage began to invent a primitive computer. The electric car was invented. The Romanian language was banned in schools and government facilities in Bessarabia. Here we see C influenza (code for ‘Circumstantial’ diseases which shape the direction of history) indicating that a mysterious providential decree originating from Athens is computing the end of the internal combustion engine while promoting conflict between Russia and the Ukraine via cultural tensions in Moldavia. The mind reels with the implications in the foothills of northern California, once the home of the Gold Rush, but now depleted of all precious metals.

29. nigel harris price - February 3, 2015

My take on Robert Earl Burton being socio/pathological, homosexually ‘bent like a$7 coin’, and vicious with it, is – lack of a disciplining father figure, Burton’s wish, therefore, to ‘dominate Nancy Boys’ by The Way of the Male Genitalia and All Other Orifices. He is completely ‘at home’ in a Weird Group that Adores Him, because they Adore their Inflated Idea of Their Own Self Importance.

Show no mercy to that Infra-Cosmic Pile of Excreta

30. Mick - February 4, 2015


“Best performing male parishioners are awarded balloons at solemn Fellowship of Friends worship ceremony”

31. Robert Stolzle - February 4, 2015

What’s with the orange pants?

“The start of the celebration of the esteemed leader’s (the one under the purple balloon) ascension to MAN #7.354”—-the celebration concluded with BJs all around.

32. Parson Yorick - February 4, 2015

I thought of a caption for the photo, but then I had second thoughts about actually posting it. However I left it where I found it in the “collective unconscious” so it’s still there if anyone wants to go retrieve it.

33. WhaleRider - February 4, 2015

Caption contest:

“Each follower was then requested to tie their balloon to Burton’s lawn chair, elevating him to a new level.”


“The Balloon Exercise was instituted to demonstrate to each follower that despite what they may read on the Internet, Burton will always be above them, even when he goes down on them.”


“Right now there are balloons hovering above us.”


“The symbolic significance of the weekly balloon celebration was never fully explained to the female followers.”


“Yes, dears, we can rise above the masses…as long as you remain tethered to me!”

34. paul gregory - February 4, 2015

The ‘Blake “Cottage”’. You have a concept of Blake, and you build a “cottage” in his name, presumably to honour him in some fashion. This is because you understand and have discovered him in a ‘special way’, and, by rights, you’d think he’d be grateful for all you’ve done for him. You then use the space to conduct black magic rituals involving under-age ‘boys’ and rape. Did you do this because you thought Blake was alive or dead?
If you rape ‘boys’ in the Blake “Cottage”, isn’t that a weeny bit like raping Blake? If you credit Blake with magic, how do you know it was student 2047 that you raped, but really, Blake, just come to check out see if things are going to plan in his house? If you send people there, almost as an act of compassion, on the presumption that you are almost on speaking terms with God, to be raped, are you not also tacitly raping Blake? Would Blake want that, to be raped, in his garden, on the tacit agreement of his followers, the best, most cleverest followers of all, who, let’s face it, discovered him?
A Blake “Cottage”. Isn’t that rather like a Mary Mother of Christ Abortion Clinic?
And all is well and good, and you’ve got Blake on the ropes, and he’s cashed in all his chips, and he writes an IOU for Jerusalem as he gets his coat and hat and walks out the door, presumably to his Cosmic Rolls, but how do you know if he’s not carrying a knife?
And Leonardo? Sure, you’ve been to all the ‘god-speaks’ with him, and your selling product by the shitload, ‘Leonardo Victory Vodka’, but how can you trust him, after all? How do you know he’s not carrying a knife?
Gangsters. Interior design gangsters. God/Truth/Love/Reality-Prohibition Gangsters. Unsentimental fellows. Can cut a machine to pieces. Can cut a moment into six separate segments, each moment more moment than the last, an achievement as impressive as the Gatling Gun. And your smugglers boat, all loaded up with jewels, to sell back to Jesus next time he shows in town, when he can finally summon the courage to come out to you, or maybe to unload in some dark cove owned by the Irabi brothers. But how do you know if they’re not carrying a knife? The Sufi’s? Pushovers. But be careful. Because how do you know they’re not carrying knives? Supposing they’re in business with the Jains? Now you know all about the Sufi’s, but the Jains? Do they carry knives? How can you tell? If it’s invisible, and you see a part of it, how do you know their not showing you the sights, you great big swell, only to, at the end of the program, cut your invisible throat with an invisible meat cleaver?
So you run and hide in a ‘Gated Community’. You form new allegiances with Nefertiti and the shit cavemen. But how do you know? Run to ground, sell greeting cards for a living, but these ‘Conscious Beings?’ Your in debt to them. It’s not a ‘good look’, and you can run far and wide – doesn’t matter. Fuck with Leonardo? Well, ‘word on the street’, Mr Leonardo doesn’t like to be fucked with, not by people like you. Leonardo rapists and rape advocates, he’s dead, but how do you know? Do you think perhaps he is pretending, whilst he attends to galaxy 427, spinning plates in heaven and writing bus tickets with his signature? A hard bastard like that, who invents tanks and helicopters in his spare time, and you want to piss all over his ‘operation’ and claim it as your own? It’s risky. Robert knows this. He knows he’s been a naughty boy, and that the head-teachers are all looking for him. The ‘toothpaste has been squeezed’. He knows this. And it’s a winning formula, in the short term. And it will win, if the fof can make it to his funeral. And will all look so clean and new, but just here and there, indelibly, in the margins and footnotes no one reads, of fof ‘angels’/reality/truth/being/presence/counting – just a little bit of shit on it, maybe a bit of blood too. The perfect recipe for a pay-as-you-go cult.

‘God is not a gentleman.’
Franklin Albert Jones, Bubba Free John, Da Free John, Da Love-Ananda, Da Kalki, Da Avadhoota, Da Avabhasa, Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj, Adi Da, Windscale, Sellafield.

‘To the lost’.
James Edison “Jimmy” Darmody

35. paul gregory - February 4, 2015

36. Messages From Marconi - February 4, 2015

The human race will go down in history as the species that wasted all the Earth’s helium reserves filling colored balloons in celebration of meaningless ego trips.


37. Tim Campion - February 5, 2015
38. Barbara - February 5, 2015

39. shardofoblivion - February 5, 2015

#23 Caption: The blue stone statue in the left foreground is saying

“They told me to tuck on this prodigious cock, but it seems to have become detached from its dependent personage”

40. nevasayneva - February 5, 2015

#23 Caption Contest attempt # 1:
“Naked woman in ancient Graeco-Roman smitten and turned into cast iron statue as she turns away in disgust from a group of middle aged men holding pastel colored balloons toasting their good fortune in the California Sierra Nevada foothills.”

41. Messages From Marconi - February 5, 2015

34. paul gregory

Don’t think no one noticed that you’re writing from the mind behind the mind, a rare accomplishment. Good stuff, good for the mind. Wards off Alzheimer’s and formatory center.

42. nigel harris price - February 5, 2015

Actually (sorry!) ,,,,, I find nothing funny about these ‘sick poseurs’….. they all follow Burton’s ‘ongoing since the FOF’s inception’ quasi-humble pose and soft-purring-huff of vocalisation until there is nothing remaining of any sense of individuality. And the terror is ….. I think this need to imitate has become worse ….. my take is that those who had a chance of the Real Self (in the Real Sense of the Word) had the brains (or decent conscience) to leave the FOF decades ago. All that we see now are “pat me on the head, please, Robert” supporters. Even Asaf Braverman is only a ‘gatherer of useless group information’ with slight style…..

“I Made It Through The Rain”

We dreamers have our ways
Of facing rainy days
And somehow we survive
We keep the feelings warm
Protect them from the storm
Until our time arrives
Then one day the sun appears
And we come shining through those lonely years

I made it through the rain
I kept my world protected
I made it through the rain
I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain
And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through

When friends are hard to find
And life seems so unkind
Sometimes you feel so afraid
Just aim beyond the clouds
And rise above the crowds
And start your own parade
‘Cause when I chased my fears away
That’s when I knew that I could finally say

I made it through the rain
I kept my world protected
I made it through the rain
I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain
And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through

I made it through the rain
I kept my world protected
I made it through the rain
I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain
And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through
And made it through
I made it through

(Barry Manilow)

43. nevasayneva - February 5, 2015

#23 Caption Contest attempt # 2:
“1001 things to do with a small wooden spiral staircase pedestal,
Gather approximately 200 people whom you know well enough to hug, but not really well at all. Prepare Margaritas. Charge money. Require casually smart or smartly casual attire. Provide everyone with a pastel colored balloon & drink such that one hand is holding a margarita and the other a balloon and they cannot really do much else-such as check their phones. Ensure that your teacher is present. To frame your toast, choose a quote from a dead white male who is sufficiently obscure that 80% known, choose a passage from that DWM that is obscure, Dead white females may be quoted once in a while, in extremis you may quote from a living white male- but only one, and you know who that is- Everything ready? – Bring out the small wooden spiral staircase pedestal – Ascend and Toast!”
(note (1) since it is quite silly and you will not know how to dispose of it anyway, you are not required to hold a balloon yourself.
note (2) Speak your quote with gravitas, do not laugh at the people holding the balloons, a smile with humor in the eyes is acceptable)

44. silentpurr - February 5, 2015

” now everyone assigned a blue balloon please step to the back, those with green stand next to them, next comes yellow…”

45. Ill Never Tell - February 5, 2015

28. Messages From Marconi – February 3, 2015
‘count the balloons in the scene (the full picture in the link), the number that would be arrived at is 34.’

Are you sure you did not mean: count the buffoons in the scene?
I count 35. There are 2 reds that are close together.
Or, perhaps the answer is:
As many as could be fit on the head of a pin.

46. ton2u - February 5, 2015


31 Robert Stolzle
re: the question of orange pants…
in the photo burtin appears to be mesmerized by a single orange balloon….
an interpretation: his garb, his stare, represent identification with the balloon… i.e. ego inflation… which, by the way, could not exist without a surrounding cast of sycophants participating in a ridiculous charade… etc.


47. Parson Yorick - February 5, 2015

Caption: “The Fellowship of Friends celebrates the launch of its new line of colored condoms….,”

48. ton2u - February 5, 2015

baron burtin:

49. Mick - February 6, 2015

Caption commentary
Strip away the marginally criminal activity; the sexual deviancy; the psychological retardation; the decadence & gaudiness; the waste of time & money and the Fellowship of Friends still looks pretty absurd. Except for the orange pants.

50. Mick - February 6, 2015

And the balloons. Altogether it’s a class act and a credit to religious organizations everywhere.

51. nigel harris price - February 6, 2015

Assholes convention…..both looked at and looking at…..I will take all ‘altercating flak’…..Nigel

52. nigel harris price - February 6, 2015

And the assholes….. both looked at and looking at…..I will take both altercations…..Nigel

53. WhaleRider - February 6, 2015

“…intimate relationships between students and professors make consent hard to determine because of the unequal power dynamic, and leave institutions vulnerable to allegations of sexual harassment.”


54. paul gregory - February 6, 2015

Hey Marconi, I don’t think in terms of things like ‘mind’ at the moment. Too difficult. I find brushing my teeth to be challenging enough. Haven’t thought in terms of ‘formatory centre’ and all that either for a long time. I grew up on The Crass and The Who. You have to be a bit strange to listen to Crass records. Abuse, as I experienced it prior to becoming a student, was destructive and long-lasting in it’s effects, but not for all. It’s what’s amazing about the human spirit, that it can transform horror into love. When I think back on that first abuse, I think, ‘why didn’t you…?’ Partially, because it was normalized and dignified.

55. Golden Veil - February 6, 2015

10. Shard of Oblivion

“Could it be that C influence made me blind to my own faults to humiliate me, so that I couldn’t see that bringing myself to a climax with the assistance of people who are not enjoying themselves, is a form of Negative Emotion, whereas everyone else could see it as plain as the nose on my face?”

R.E.B. could be thinking this very thought! Actually, probably not, given his narcissistic, psychopathic nature; these thoughts will never occur to him.

56. ton2u - February 7, 2015

re: photo of bobby’s balloon party and “caption contest” — for football fans — Mick, Bob, et.al…. as the talking-heads continue spinning “deflate-gate” and the ramifications thereof.



57. nigel harris price - February 7, 2015

O.K. Robert Earl Burton…..whop this where the Sun Don’t Shine…..you let pretty boys push their arms so far up your anal cavity (fist unto elbow’s length) that now, when you shit….the excretal spray covers such a wide area with such volume of excrement…..that the whole of the Fellowship of Friends is involved in wiping your ‘cosmic ass’…..come on, dude…..die and let people go on living while they naturally can…..Nigel.

58. ton2u - February 7, 2015

re: burtin you say “….die and let people go on living while they naturally can…”

I say: not soon enough.

whatever “the fates” grant us here on terra-plane, it is a life after all…. a gift and love / life is what you make of it (e.g. silversmithing, the human connections, etc). a sense of gratitude is needed to carry on… otherwise, same as it ever was…

59. James Mclemore - February 8, 2015

58. ton2u
Thanks ton2u. That is one of my favorite songs ever.
David Byrne is one of the most creative people to have ever arrived on this planet. If my memory serves me well I don’t believe he was a part of the famed “44”, but he probably should have been.

60. James Mclemore - February 8, 2015

I just remembered that all those other people were dead, huh?

61. nigel harris price - February 8, 2015

Interesting maybe here?????

There was, but has not been, recently, discussions of ‘dysfunctional families’…..

I had not been clear, for myself, what that was supposed to mean and especially with regard to what sort of person would join the FOF. Certainly, I was hiding my membership from my father in my early FOF days and did not tell either of my parents that I was moving to California (by that time, both parents knew of my membership). My parents were what you call ‘old school traditionists’ and definitely not of ‘liberal values’. When the messy ending to my FOF belonging happened, they were there for me and even onwards in my almost constant psychotic state. My mom died in 2001 but my dad, at aged 89, still worries about my abysmal sense of financial security – my other brothers are – 1) chief mining engineering supervisor for Wolf Engineering Australia, and – 2) head IT logistics consultant for British Airways…..my dad and his father before him were both commercial bankers…..funnily enough, Xenia Berndt, my private astrologer quite rightly calls me ‘the penniless visionary’…..and the FOF had over $30k of my money, as I told the IRS…..

What’s functional and what’s dysfunctional?????…..Nigel.

62. Messages From Marconi - February 8, 2015

Dysfunctional is to be trapped within the mind in a phantom world of past mistakes without a sense of humor about it all. Look around the phantom world of the past. What is the main quality that you seldom ever notice? You are there alone, everyone else has moved on.

In many cases the most important action a person can make in the here and the now is to ignore the commotion echoing out of the phantom world of the past.

63. paul gregory - February 8, 2015

62. Messages From Marconi – February 8, 2015

I’m glad you said that. That Blake post was due to my not posting or reading this thing for a while, due to all this critical attention, which I haven’t experienced like that for years. I find it a bit boring to explain things or even that I consider that I somehow should. And then getting this thing in my head, and wanting it out and gone. As a consequence of this I missed ‘The Balloon Rapture’. What worse punishment could there be? Thing is, there is such a wealth of absurdity in it all!
‘The sleep of Reason produces Spectacular inflatables.’

64. Barbara - February 8, 2015

63. paul gregory “Thing is, there is such a wealth of absurdity in it all!”
but we are having fun…

Hey, do you remember this one?

65. Ron Brisson, aka Renald - February 8, 2015

When decades of empowerment/victim therapy show no improvement there is obviously something wrong with the diagnosis.

66. ton2u - February 9, 2015


“….something wrong with the diagnosis.”

that’s your diagnosis

67. paul gregory - February 9, 2015

65. Ron Brisson, aka Renald – February 8, 2015

Did you think that one up on the ‘Gary Glitter’? Did a charity worker ‘fix it for you?’ Have you ever even heard of ‘The Radio One Balloon Show?’ Have you been inhaling balloons recently? Is your surgery for free or can anyone have it? Is a booklet available at reception? I read the one ‘Get over yourself, you cunt’, but the last page was missing. Had your Hancock all over it, though, ‘whodunnit’ ‘whogivesafuckanyway?’
‘Get over yourself, you cunt therapy’, aka, the same as, including me.

Including you in my prayers

Desperate Dan of the Balloon diaspora

68. nigel harris price - February 9, 2015

…..the Nazi-isation of America through hidden symbolism

69. paul gregory - February 10, 2015

70. Barbara - February 10, 2015

the thing i like the most of this blog is its cathartic power

71. Barbara - February 10, 2015

jan 13, 1998 my arrival into oregon house
feb 7, first dinner (banquet) with the teacher
that is 16 years in oh (i escaped to shasta around 2008)
i also got to know that there are 7 register to vote burton’s in yuba county
im kind of celebrating anniversary right?

72. Barbara - February 10, 2015

i mean – (burtons)

73. Messages From Marconi - February 10, 2015

74. Messages From Marconi - February 10, 2015

75. Messages From Marconi - February 10, 2015

76. Messages From Marconi - February 10, 2015

77. Messages From Marconi - February 10, 2015

78. shardofoblivion - February 11, 2015

#74 is Burton stifling a yawn, or has he just discovered he forgot to remove the young cock he was sucking before dinner from his mouth

79. brucelevy - February 11, 2015

Those pictures make my skin crawl.

80. leaf - February 11, 2015

Me too… I was struck by vibe of the cult followers as much as anything. The expressions on their faces and body language suggest guilt, confusion, resignation, doubt, weariness, and fear. The smiles feel forced and muted. The effort is to appear to be, not to be.

81. Golden Veil - February 11, 2015

74. Messages from Marconi

A professional facial expression reader like Paul Ekman


could tell us a lot about what these people faces express. Looking at the women in this photograph, I think that I see perhaps leaden boredom, the kind where the passing of time is excruciating slow. In fact, happiness does not appear to be expressed on any of the face of anyone in this photograph…

82. brucelevy - February 11, 2015

The expressions, to me, show the “act” of presence, and of being “a good student” in the proximity of Her Highness Ms. Burton.

83. Messages From Marconi - February 11, 2015

Caption for 74: “Make a note, Spaghetti-O’s are not to be served in the future.”

84. Robert Stolzle - February 11, 2015

Anyone ever notice that RB has the brow ridge of a Neanderthal?

Is #77 the pre whisker version? What is the year?

In one view, it is surprising that RB hasn’t acquire more of the accoutrements of the all knowing guru, i.e. long hair, longer beard, robes, etc.

Bob Stolzle

85. Barbara - February 11, 2015

money makes the world go round the world go round the world go round…and psychiatrists in fof know it!

86. paul gregory - February 12, 2015

DJ Marilyn Nosferatu holds court in yellow, with yellow accessories. Isn’t 77 Girard? Whatever, it’s the saddest picture I think I’ve ever seen.

87. Fee fi fo fum - February 12, 2015

86 paul gregory

Yes, 77 is Girard. He had a stroke a while ago. There have been strange stories about him.

Re photo 74 of people sitting at a meal but no one eating – I’ve heard from people who left the FoF several years ago that when they went to meals with REB (which they paid for, of course), that there was so much pressure to not engage in the actual dining process, that their food would go untouched. So people would eat beforehand. What does that say about REB, that he allows, and probably perpetuates, that ridiculous atmosphere? I can hear it now, “It’s just your instinctive center.”

Meanwhile, REB has indulged his own instinctive center, big time.

88. brucelevy - February 12, 2015

Fuck R.B.

89. Golden Veil - February 12, 2015

Well said by former students:

87. Fee fi fo fum

“Meanwhile, REB has indulged his own instinctive center, big time.”


88. brucelevy

“Fuck R.B.”

What could be the largest cause of P.T.S.D. in California:

The Fellowship of Friends so-called esoteric school

Current students:

The sooner you get out the better

Prospective students:

Don’t go there. You’l regret it!

90. paul gregory - February 12, 2015

87. Fee fi fo fum – February 12, 2015

One could sense the presence of Chunky Treats, but refrained upon going forth further, as the chain only, goes, so far.
Waggle Waggle. But man cannot live on Chunky Treats alone, or bread that’s like real bread but lighter.

A dinner in which people are invited to the dinner by the host they pay for having the concept of conscious dinner. At which they do not eat for fear of offending the host who offered the dinner, that they paid to have dinner with, to listen to the host at the dinnerless dinner invented by the host around the concept of conscious dinner, but without the dinner. Virtual Vittals. As though to reinforce the concept of starvation banquets, a tiered row of onlookers gaze at the host of the dinnerless dinner, the chef who’s offended by chewing, as a paying privilege, to watch diners not eat listen at a non-dinner dinner, that’s a snip at however many teaching payments it took to get there. Paying to stand and watch people not eat dinner in chairs, listening to a anti-dinner dinner host. Couldn’t someone just offer them a bit of the dinner? No, that would be transgressive in the context of starvation banquets. It explodes into a kind of non-fat fractal. Do not stroke the beef. Do not approach the beef. Free the broccoli from its accursed fate of maceration.

Later on a man publishes a million word text on the value of virtual Chunky Treats, on the theory of the Shangri-la of theoretical virtual starvation banquets, and everyone in heaven runs around naked until they all fall down. Or don’t. Because once you do, your stuck like angels in aspic.

91. shardofoblivion - February 12, 2015

#90 Brilliant Paul Gregory

92. ton2u - February 12, 2015

they say “a picture is worth a thousand words” — if a “prospective student” landing here — while doing due diligence in researching the followship of fiends — has “a lick of sense” (as grandma used to say), upon viewing the photos of a foppish narcissist surrounded by a group of hypnotized sycophants, said researcher should have ample reason to look elsewhere for “enlightenment.” then again, common sense isn’t common to all…. e.g. those in the pictures here. (thanks macaroni).

paul gregory… thanks again for the excellent word salad(s).


93. ton2u - February 12, 2015

thanks Fe fi fo fum for the background info…. a dinner party where no one eats… how bizarre?!

94. ton2u - February 13, 2015

free associating along, re: “angel in aspic” and bobby’s dinner ‘parties’ and breaking free from the same:


During a formal dinner party at the lavish mansion of Señor Edmundo Nobile and his wife, Lucia, the servants unaccountably leave their posts until only the major-domo is left. After dinner the guests adjourn to the music room, where one of the women, Blanca, plays a piano sonata. Later, when they might normally be expected to return home, the guests unaccountably remove their jackets, loosen their gowns, and settle down for the night on couches, chairs and the floor.
By morning it is apparent that, for some inexplicable reason, they are psychologically, but not physically, trapped in the music room. Unable to leave, the guests consume what little water and food is left from the previous night’s party. Days pass, and their plight intensifies; they become quarrelsome, hostile, and hysterical – only Dr. Carlos Conde, applying logic and reason, manages to keep his cool and guide the guests through the ordeal. One of the guests, the elderly Sergio Russell, dies, and his body is placed in a large cupboard. Much later in the film, Béatriz and Eduardo, a young couple about to be married, lock themselves in a closet and commit suicide.
In the meantime, the guests manage to break open a wall enough to break a water pipe. Eventually, several sheep and a bear break loose from their bonds and find their way to the room; the guests take in the sheep and proceed to slaughter and roast them on fires made from floorboards and broken furniture….”

95. paul gregory - February 13, 2015

Glad you liked it Shard and Ton. I’d hate to contemplate a future where everyone drinks foam through gold straws. There is always the possibility of an eating veil, a handkerchief, preferably lace but not too suggestive, tied to the back of the head with an elastic band under the nose. Or just have pictures of food on plates. To dispense with plates entirely would just be foolish. I was reminded of this:

‘don’t drink the grey wine’.

96. paul gregory - February 13, 2015

To be a Golden Retriever, or not to be a Golden Retriever, that is the question.

97. shardofoblivion - February 13, 2015

‘don’t hang glide over the volcano’

98. leaf - February 13, 2015

I enjoyed eating normally (like anyone having dinner with friends) during Burton’s dinners and really didn’t care what he or anyone else thought about it. I paid for it, and they put food in front of me. Seemed like a natural thing to do.

Of course, that may explain why I was never in the inner circle. I did notice later on that people seemed to be avoiding their plates during Burton dinners/lunches/etc., and many wouldn’t take a bite until Burton did. There seemed to be this silent, internal tug-of-war in people’s faces to not appear to be “inner considering” Burton, but at the same they didn’t want to be the only one eating at any given moment. (Imagine a comedy scene where someone takes a bite of food, and everyone in the room turns to glare in your direction for a moment, then looks away in smug superiority.) It was pretty weird, but then almost everything was.

For what it’s worth, this sort of bullshit was evidence that Burton was anything but “enlightened” when it came to negative emotions. He struck me as being exceptionally immature at times, often taking offense at the silliest things (like someone taking a bite of food when he was talking about angels being in the room). He was very clever at not being obvious with his negative emotions; it was more the subtle, passive-aggressive variety. It’s amazing that we believed his behavior was elevated.

92. ton2u – February 12, 2015
“they say “a picture is worth a thousand words” — if a “prospective student” landing here — while doing due diligence in researching the followship of fiends — has “a lick of sense” (as grandma used to say), upon viewing the photos of a foppish narcissist surrounded by a group of hypnotized sycophants, said researcher should have ample reason to look elsewhere for “enlightenment.” then again, common sense isn’t common to all…. e.g. those in the pictures here. (thanks macaroni).”

So true.

I think common sense does prevail most of the time. The vast majority of people who encounter the FOF during prospective student meetings notice right away that something is wrong and never return. As “students,” people would often pass it off as their low level of being.

99. Tim Campion - February 13, 2015

From Huffington Post:

The School of the Heartist — Days of Founding a New School

Story about Yanna Bat Adam’s “The School of the Heartist – A conscious school for the arts” in Oregon House, CA.

100. leaf - February 13, 2015

You joining up, Tim?

101. brucelevy - February 13, 2015

99. Tim Campion

More vacuous, indirect recruitment bull shit from another drone who thinks highly of herself for and what appears to be her typically mediocre FOF “esoteric art”. It’s like a finishing school for sociopaths and narcissists. In that whole video she says absofuckinglutely NOTHING.

102. ton2u - February 13, 2015

Tim 99 re: yanna and her “school of the heartist” — “the fourth way” is mentioned on her site… and she’s located in oregon house… is this a bifurcation of the followship ? does anyone know about her connection with “conscious” bob et al ? any background info?

103. shardofoblivion - February 13, 2015

#99 Yanna Bat Adams says “this process involved many thousands of millions of very intentional breaths I had taken”, hang on a sec, a quick back of the envelope calculation discloses that just one thousand million breaths at 3 secs each would take 95 years. The “consciousness is not functions” and other hints, lead me to suppose she has been exposed to the Gurdjieffian interpretation of existence at some time.

104. Tim Campion - February 13, 2015

Yohana Adam was on the November 2014 Fellowship roster. According to her bio, she has different names: YoHana, Anicca, Leela, Ania and Yanna.

105. Tim Campion - February 13, 2015

100. leaf

I don’t think so.

I did however write to HuffPost expressing my concern that this might be a recruiting tool for the Fellowship, and encouraging them to investigate the possible connection.

106. ton2u - February 13, 2015

thank you Tim

107. nigel harris price - February 13, 2015

99 Tim Campion

Just looking at the blah-blah-blah wording about how this canniving woman is going to recruit ‘try-out-her-art-for-the-one-and-higher-spirit’, if she is in the Fellowship,looks like another MONEY-MAKING-DRIVE…..I bet REB set her up for this……and her art is at the level of a competent teenager…..Nigel

P.S. I am going out of a certain ‘comfort zone’ of living in Exeter, Devon, UK and moving to Abergavenny, South Wales, where all I can sense is the cry of the people for the Welsh Academy of Jewellery Arts…..shot to nothing…..real artists go cosmically beyond to serve the best cause…call me conceited…..but I love the people…..n.

Barbara - February 13, 2015

Tim you are so good! but, are you kidding me?

“For anyone who wants to follow his Heart, or her Heart, but don’t have a clue how. I invite you to visit me.”

Is she talking about you guys?

108. Barbara - February 13, 2015

brucelevy 101

bsreader TM

109. Barbara - February 14, 2015

wow, between 107 and 108
mind the gap!

110. Robert Stolzle - February 14, 2015

Re: Bat (crazy) Adams-

Never met anyone so famous that I’d never heard of before, but her credentials are impeccable—No?

Gotta love the “doubt and certainty” as ying and yang thing.

T’would be nice to have two competing cults in Oregon House, but can such things really be?

Can’t paint worth a damn, but ya’ gotta love the phallic symbol in her “Golden Calf” painting…….holding up a menorah nothing less.

How does one monetize an online cult and use webinars to attract victims?

I’m not going back to “conscious breathing” again; even if Bat promised RB’s golden dick on a silver platter.

T’is very sad!

Bob Stolzle

111. Barbara - February 14, 2015

110. Robert Stolzle
Days of Founding a New School!!! yei!!

112. Tim Campion - February 14, 2015


I don’t know Yanna’s current membership status, nor what relation The School of the Heartist may have with the Fellowship. You can watch tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day webinar here: The School of the Heartist 1st Embrace

Frankly, I saw everything I needed to see in the HuffPost video (linked above.)

113. Barbara - February 14, 2015

member or not member
that is the question

114. Fee fi fo fum - February 14, 2015

93 ton2u

And Fellowship members pay to have a copy of a photo of REB. If you multiply that by all the people sitting with him in that photo, where everyone would “of course” want to have a copy of that photo, that’s revenue for the Fellowship.

98 leaf

Bravo to you for eating like a normal person admidst herd mentality.

115. paul gregory - February 14, 2015

If you want to learn about art, the place you go to do that is called an ‘art college’. If you believe that art lacks ‘consciousness’ or ‘heart’, then you need to do your homework, and it hasn’t even begun yet. You don’t have to go to ‘art college’ to understand art or make it, but you have to learn how to hurt pretty things in order to make pretty things. You can’t eat food without tearing it apart violently with your cellular macerators. it’s ugly, it’s dirty, but someone’s got to do it. (not you, ‘someone’).

‘Embracing yourself’ is a meditation I first embarked upon in my early adolescence, whilst preparing to enter the ‘first state’, although I rapidly found it to be a solution to many a work-a-day problem. I found it immediately beneficial, and in many ways my life is based upon the hard lesson of it, but It leads to nothing but a permanently disfigured posture, and, potentially, acne and hairy palms. Valentine Self-Balloons may be used at times to lessen the load, along with yellow shirts and Gurdjieffing around with the Kabalah, in order to colour your fantasies, ABC, but if you think art needs you, on the basis that you breathe and have watercolours, fuck……… yourself………..(?!) Chopin…………… Heartedly. (?!?)

“…certainty is not in the mind. It is in our hearts, our higher centres’.
Leonardo loves you, everyone else thinks your a self-embracer. Batty non-man, consider the Brisley. Sending you Brisley vibrations for your vibration factory. (Without the Chopin, sorry!)

Work makes Free

116. paul gregory - February 14, 2015

117. paul gregory - February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines everyone!

118. brucelevy - February 14, 2015

110. Robert Stolzle

“How does one monetize an online cult and use webinars to attract victims?”

Easily…it’s a digital “bookmark” like we used to leave in books.

Picture the conversation: “Your teaching really rings a bell for me, especially because it’s so art oriented. Who was your teacher, are they still alive? Is there some way to connect?”

“Why yes dear one, I’m still with a group that happens to hold “art” as one of the highest impressions that can feed our soul-making and presence. Would you like further guidance?” Also, do you happen to be a pretty boy, because if you are, I get a larger commission.”

119. nigel harris price - February 14, 2015

Hmm!?…..Oprah Wind Bag, making ‘consciousness, ‘awake’ out of making money from ‘grilling’ people…..

120. leaf - February 14, 2015

““If a thing loves, it is infinite.”
William Blake

(well, unless you’re a former student)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

121. leaf - February 14, 2015

Since no one else has said it yet: The art in that gallery is really bad.

And, about that video: The fact that she (they?) posted it, presumably thinking she would attract someone’s curiosity… that’s a sure sign doesn’t see herself (see how she looks to the outside world).

Sigh. And the same can be said about the Fellowship as a whole. When you’re in it, you don’t see it.

122. ton2u - February 14, 2015

120 Leaf… re: really bad art and “since no one else has said it yet…” I think nigel implied it @ 107

123. ton2u - February 14, 2015

leaf… and “Arbeit Macht Frei” with all the heavy breathing and vomiting says it all re: yanna bat’s “many intentional breaths” — her “art” etc… and the vomiting applies to the followship ‘at large.’

124. WhaleRider - February 15, 2015

From the NYT today:
“Sexual Assault Allegations Against Illinois Imam Stir Divisions in Insular South Asian Community”

(One victim was 23 years old when first abused, another was 12.)

“Abuse allegations…have brought similar anguish to insular communities suddenly exposed to outsiders..”

“…said in a brief phone interview that his accusers “are lying.” He referred questions to his lawyer…who said that after an internal investigation by the school, “I have not seen any evidence to substantiate anything.””

“…attributed the accusations to “individuals outside our community” seeking to discredit the school’s beliefs. “The individuals involved do not wish to seek privacy and resolution, but are actively seeking publicity for their claims…”

“They shared apartments…and socialized almost exclusively among one another.”

“The school is not recognized by the state and does not award accredited diplomas.”

“Hanging over the entire process was the threat that the allegations would destroy her reputation. Such concerns are common in abuse cases.”

“”Regardless if the allegations are true or false he is…much better…than all of us. Please stop spreading information regarding him. He has reached a very old age. You should be instead focusing on how you can spend more time in his presence.”

“It’s an ongoing inestigation into allegations of sexual offenses…”

“…had abused them in the early 1980’s when he was teaching from his bedroom.”

““These are good, peaceful, kind, conscientious people trying to do the right thing in the face of some pretty nasty allegations…””

“The Catholics aren’t the only ones who have pedophiles.”

The parallels to the FOF are chilling, as though derived from the same playbook.

125. leaf - February 15, 2015

126. nigel harris price - February 15, 2015

Rodney Collin was ACTUALLY born in Brighton, England…..my life’s work was born at Brighton Polytechnic…..precious metalwork…..

SEPTEMBER 9, 1951 Perhaps finding one’s role is connected with finding the positive side of one’s weaknesses, and the higher possibilities of one’s likes. But to one’s own role one must come; then everything else falls into place.

NOVEMBER 12, 1951 How does desire grow? The wider the vision the greater the desire. We desire little because we see little. As we see more, desire grows. If we see enough, it becomes uncontainable.



127. Golden Veil - February 15, 2015

99. Tim Campion

At first, I thought that little Huffington Post article, “The School of the Heartist” was a spoof. Then I played the video and heard the artist’s spiritual babble tinged with Fellowship of Friends esoteric drivel.

The only thing more annoying than a perverse self-ordained enlightened esoteric teacher are his students proclaiming that they, too, are enlightened experts in some form of “conscious” philosophical or creative endeavor – and start their own school.

File this one under “What Were They Thinking?!”

It wasn’t clear to me before, but it’s absolutely clear now, that there is no editing department at the online Huffington Post. It’s just a FaceBook-like free-for-all.

128. Golden Veil - February 15, 2015

126. nigel harris price


129. nigel harris price - February 15, 2015


130. nigel harris price - February 15, 2015

Should be…..

…..and, Golden Veil, what sort of ‘Ditto’ do you imply ? …..do you dare beyond mediochrity ?????

131. Tim Campion - February 15, 2015

Golden Veil,

I wondered if the HuffPost article were a paid advertisement. If The School of the Heartist is another Fellowship recruiting effort, I think it is worth warning potential victims. In any case, I find it saddening. I’m reminded of one of our fellow-blogger’s moniker, “We were there.”

132. Someone - February 15, 2015

I am not 100% sure, but this ‘School of the Heartist’ looks like a private business initiative to sell paintings. It is wrapped with some FoF wording, but it doesn’t look like a FoF initiative.

133. leaf - February 15, 2015

132.Someone – February 15, 2015
“I am not 100% sure, but this ‘School of the Heartist’ looks like a private business initiative to sell paintings. It is wrapped with some FoF wording, but it doesn’t look like a FoF initiative.”

Whatever the intent, she’s framing it (no pun intended) as a “school” with all of the required spiritual buzzwords.

Amazingly the Huffington Post has given her a blog page:

(Do they hire anyone?)

While I understand people’s concerns that the FOF recruiting effort has (maybe) reached the Huffington Post, I have to believe she’s had so few hits that they won’t allow her to take up space for very long. They’re looking for someone who knows how to write and who can attract readers. No, and no. Apparently, they’ll give almost anyone a chance.

134. leaf - February 15, 2015

How to respond to cult recruiters:

135. Messages From Marconi - February 15, 2015

Horribly dreary crap. Shoot yourself and get it over with.

136. Messages From Marconi - February 15, 2015

Horribly dreary crap. Shoot yourself and get it over with.


(Another try)

137. Messages From Marconi - February 16, 2015

This is a crime against humanity.


138. Messages From Marconi - February 16, 2015

This a worst disaster than the Hindenburg.


139. Barbara - February 16, 2015

ooops they removed the pics…!

140. Tim Campion - February 16, 2015

Yes, Barbara. That was the WordPress Horrible Dreary Crap Filter.

141. shardofoblivion - February 16, 2015

#136,137,138 – Marconi – I think your artistic criticism is over harsh on these images, I enjoyed looking at them, whereas I do somehow find Bat’s images unpleasant.

142. Barbara - February 16, 2015

“I’m almost positive she is acting on her own. The “goofy” tone of the website for her new art school is very similar to how she has been marketing her artwork the past few years. Since moving here 5-10 years ago, [joined in Israel] she has been trying/struggling to survive (like many). She has many artistic talents, including playing flute at a performance level. I sincerely believe that no one is endorsing her, only that Steve D has featured her artwork at his shop, as he has for many other people.” (direct source)

follow the logic, or the money…

“How does one monetize an online cult and use webinars to attract victims?”(110) or followers…

Oprah Winfre: The Secret of My Success from Stanford Graduate School of Business (119)

I wondered if the HuffPost article were a paid advertisement.(131)

[]”…the FOF recruiting effort has (maybe) reached the Huffington Post” “Apparently, they’ll give almost anyone a chance.”(133)

“I am not 100% sure, but this ‘School of the Heartist’ looks like a private business initiative to sell paintings. It is wrapped with some FoF wording, but it doesn’t look like a FoF initiative.” (132)

“Whatever the intent, she’s framing it (no pun intended) as a “school” with all of the required spiritual buzzwords.” (133)

“It wasn’t clear to me before, but it’s absolutely clear now, that there is no editing department at the online Huffington Post. It’s just a FaceBook-like free-for-all.” (127)

IMO The Heartist is clever but funny… [It is time to found a new school! For all those artists and performers that don’t know how to follow their hearts…] from Oregon House to the World!

At the same time, well, anyone can start their own business!

143. Barbara - February 16, 2015

“As I was taking down a lovely solo exhibition I had mounted in the local art gallery, I realized it was the end of an era…For 30 years I had successfully made my living in the art marketplace, but the tide was now going out. That strenuous mode of life no longer suited me. Whispering to me in the winds came a voice saying that it was time for me to share the wisdom and techniques that had enabled me to be successful — wisdom and techniques related to a spiritual dimension that is the true wellspring of creativity not just in art, but in every field. It was time for me to speak more directly than I could with paintings – to speak with living people — in particular, those for whom creativity is a strong impulse that is sometimes problematic.” “Thus it was that I founded The School of the Heartist.” Yanna Bat Adam

144. paul gregory - February 16, 2015

In her first promotional video, Yanna can’t finish it without suppressing tears. That’s after ages of breathy neo-advaita style pause-talking. This shows a lack of awareness that would be typical to a person in a cult. You wouldn’t go to an acupuncturist if he started crying down the other end of the phone, ‘We have such a wonderful journey to (sob) take together and I will be so (sob) happy to see you.’ Or a plumber or psychiatrist.
And then to contrast that with fellowshippy posters, who all have a kind of hardness about them and an attitude of ‘oh fucking get over it’. I wonder if the two are related?
The whole message is completely garbled. It’s singing, it’s painting, it’s breathing, it’s a spiritual kind of discipline, a way, a path, a way that leads to a path. Your inner most desires revealed and resolved and somehow attainable by all this. A mess, a masquerade, a bit disingenuous. Embracing yourself to embrace the world. Is the king of hearts embracing your higher emotional centre? Is that it? So what? Where are the underlying values in this? Where is the Chiaroscuro in your philosophy? Where is the ground? Where is solidity?
I think most art is beautiful in that it is an attempt to merge as well as represent the thing perceived. it’s a kind of visual prayer or token of identity, vast with questions and possibilities. Drawing and painting and making is good-hearted meditation enough.
I find your recent posts much more offensive in tone that a guy puking in the seventies, Marconi, but then I would. When I first saw it at the Whitechapel, I thought it was a lot of things, including funny. But posting up these personal scraps of faith and prayer for no apparent reason is a bit ‘weak’, like posting up someones diary from their childhood without their consent.

145. Messages From Marconi - February 16, 2015

144. paul gregory – February 16, 2015

“I find your recent posts much more offensive in tone that a guy puking in the seventies, Marconi, but then I would. When I first saw it at the Whitechapel, I thought it was a lot of things, including funny. But posting up these personal scraps of faith and prayer for no apparent reason is a bit ‘weak’, like posting up someones diary from their childhood without their consent.”

Paul, please, please don’t turn on me. These criminals have taken innocent art materials and made themselves villains of utter incompetence. Why, oh admired friend of mine, kill the messenger? These are middle-aged adults who have insulted the world with their hideous exhibition of no talent. Unlike normal people they refuse to recognize when a mess of paint has gone inexcusably wrong. They puke into the public square then try to charge money for the effrontery.

146. ton2u - February 16, 2015

I looked at the j.beth link posted above, quickly clicked through the rest of his work on facebook… my response to it is, although it’s “run-of-the-mill” — looks like stuff I’ve seen many times before in that it is of a certain style that has been ‘au courant’ for quite a while by now… nevertheless there is obviously (to me) some degree of “talent” involved. it’s not ‘my cup-o-tea’ but I have to say, taken as a whole it didn’t look as offensive as described — “a crime against humanity” ? !

I suppose if I’m offended by anything herein, it’s that mr. beth continues to use the talents he has in support of the fof… but that’s his prerogative too… as it’s said, “there’s no accounting for taste.”

147. Barbara - February 16, 2015

“For creators from all disciplines: artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers and sculptors who want to move to a new level in their Creative endeavors. And for the inner artist who lies at the heart of even “non-artistic” pursuits, whether it be business, agriculture, healing…” “The School of the Heartist will teach you not just how to unlock the floodgates of your personal Creativity, but also how to create the ultimate artwork — which is your Soul”
Woo~Hooo! The whole enchilada!

148. Barbara - February 16, 2015

What a photograph to the fof and all its current operating branches…

149. Tim Campion - February 16, 2015

142. Barbara

Thanks for this background information.

Is the little town of Oregon House big enough for two “conscious” schools? (Or is it three, counting Asaf Bravermans’s projects?)

It’s getting SO confusing!

150. Barbara - February 16, 2015

Cost $800.
Early bird registration until 5th of March $600.
Optional 3 payments
10 weeks of emotional support
March 19th – May 21th 2015
1-hour free [$150 value] personal session with Yanna.
You will receive this Bonus as long as you’ll register to Early bird option. Yanna Bat Adam – Heartist
ok, enough for me!

151. leaf - February 16, 2015

On a related note, The Onion (coincidentally) weighed in last week:

“Area Woman Not Good Enough Artist To Justify Eccentricities”

152. leaf - February 17, 2015

Somewhat related topic… The documentary, “Finding Vivian Maier” is a biography of a Chicago-area street photographer who took tens of thousands of photos during her lifetime. Largely due to her mental illness, she developed almost none of her negatives, never exhibited her photos, and never promoted her own work. The documentary describes the discovery of her photos, the process of developing them for the first time, and the large crowds that have attended her exhibitions in recent years.

I found the story both sad and uplifting. Parts of the story are actually fairly negative and disturbing. But what fascinated me the most was that her art sprung from an inexhaustible urge to interact with her environment and record it, and not from the desire to gain attention, notoriety, fame, wealth, or a following. Maybe despite this, or because of this, she left us a treasure.


153. WhaleRider - February 17, 2015

“You wouldn’t go to an acupuncturist if he started crying down the other end of the phone, ‘We have such a wonderful journey to (sob) take together and I will be so (sob) happy to see you.’ Or a plumber or psychiatrist. And then to contrast that with fellowshippy posters, who all have a kind of hardness about them and an attitude of ‘oh fucking get over it’. I wonder if the two are related?”

These two distinct FOF voices are not only related, they can exist in the same person…the same follower.

In the narcissistic personality these two voices are split: one part of the personality idealizes to the point of grandiosity (I can help you create the soul that you don’t possess) the other devalues to the point of dehumanization (blaming the victim or shunning the soulless disbeliever).

I suppose you could think of them as Siamese Twins…one in the same, only two different heads.

Maybe I’m wrong or misread you, but I didn’t get the impression from her video as you did that Yanna was holding back tears, possibly in a manipulative way, and then periodically pausing to regain her composure.

IMO, to begin with, it would be a great feat for a narcissist to cry in a way that felt sincere; the camera would expose that.

My interpretation is that she was pausing, staring directly into the camera for a suggestive, hypnotic effect.

I would bet she’s mimicking someone…someone who subjected her to the same treatment, and is unaware of the trance inducing behavior, masked as her stated practice of “conscious breathing”.

I imagine a room full of people breathing and speaking to each other in that manner would be a bit like group hypnosis. Add the right music and after awhile everyone would have the same silly smile pasted on their face.

154. Ill Never Tell - February 17, 2015

Those who can, do;
those who can’t, teach.
(Attributed to:
George Bernard Shaw
Maxims for Revolutionists: Education.
Man and Superman, 1903.)

[People who are able to do something well
can do that thing for a living,
while people who are not able
to do anything that well
make a living by teaching.]

Another version:
Those that can, do.
Those that can’t, teach.
And those that can’t teach,
teach teachers.

That is how REB got there.
Once a 4th grade teacher,
always a 4th grade teacher.

155. brucelevy - February 17, 2015

154. Ill Never Tell

The version I heard:

Those that can, do.
Those that can’t, teach.
And those that can’t teach,administrate.

156. paul gregory - February 17, 2015

I wasn’t ‘turning’ on you, Marconi, but the last posts from peoples facebook profiles. As far as I’m aware these people have no intention to make the mess Yanna is planning, and are just drawing and painting, and posting things up for friends in the private/public way one does on fb. I don’t personally believe in ‘good creativity’ or ‘bad creativity’, but then there are people like Albert Speer.
153. WhaleRider – February 17, 2015
At the end of the video she seems to ‘well-up inside’ with all the goodies on offer through her ‘system’. But I lack the masochism necessary to watch it again, Whalerider! The pause-talking thing is a fashion. I thought she was offering her product to students as some kind of creative therapy… $800.00 for this?
I see what you mean about the narcissism of cult-philosophies. fof philosophy seems based on a continual self-seeking within a ‘gated community’. Just like any cult, then.
As Tim says, it’s just sad.
152. leaf – February 17, 2015
I didn’t see any reference to mental illness in the Vivian Maier film, though, leaf! The film suggests she was abused, though. Another reference would be Gwen John, in contrast to her brother’s work.

157. Robert Stolzle - February 17, 2015


With three institutions of higher consciousness and TRUE creativity clustered around Oregon House, it must indicate that—— a VORTEX!! is located there. Sedona, AZ will now have some competition in attracting the “seekers of truth and wisdom”. Someone had better set up the vegan latte sushi cart and capitalize on this wonderful opportunity! I’d move there myself, but I’m an old crystallized carnivore with bad behavior, an affinity for comfort and a good bullshit meter. I’d pay $800 if she could teach me how to levitate, but I could already make bad, stupid esoteric art when I left the FoF in 1977 (and I can still do so). I just need some buyers with a lot of money and little sense.

Bob Stolzle

158. nevasayneva - February 17, 2015

The perceived faults of REB in leading FOF which so many of us become aware of and eventually form a part of our decision in leaving, to name but a few:

– incessant trouser chasing
– grandiosity
– lack of financial oversight or even basic financial management
– waste – of money, talent, projects, etc coupled with incessant fundraising to feed that.
– aimlessness (eternal Palm Springs vk life of REB contrasted with – in the case of some of the older dedicated FOF members in Oregon house -the limited resources of members)
– tendency to layer himself with circles of protection
– tendency to use C influence to conveniently explain away to unfortunate consequences of cause and effect
-tendency of REB and all members to rationalize all of the above as being of small importance compared to the great endeavor of increasing ones consciousness (also quite convenient- that one)

I was thinking it would even be worse if he did not have these faults. To imagine an organization like that, where so many are idealistic, single minded, determined to change themselves and the world. If it were guided by someone with less obvious flaws, better organizational skills, more aim and an equivalent level of charisma- it could go far and would be quite scary

Fortunately so far that has not been the case.
So in some way, hooray for FOF disfunctionality, it enables many to open their eyes and escape, and also hinders FOF from being much more than an odd offshoot 4th way-ish group in the California foothills.

159. ton2u - February 17, 2015

@154 int
re: teachers and doing…

“…I resemble that remark”

at the risk of sounding self-righteous — real teachers are doing something… by example if nothing else. what has burden been “teaching” all these years? aside from leaching…?

‘Give them bread and circus…’


fat tuesday

160. Messages From Marconi - February 17, 2015

“Do you realize how incredibly competitive Life Coaching is and that most practices fail to generate sufficient clients. And are you prepared to do whatever is necessary to avoid becoming one of those statistics?”


161. leaf - February 17, 2015

Paul Gregory: “I didn’t see any reference to mental illness in the Vivian Maier film, though, leaf! The film suggests she was abused, though. Another reference would be Gwen John, in contrast to her brother’s work.”

You must have watched a different film than “Finding Vivian Maier”, or didn’t watch it entirely.

There were several references to her mental illness — mostly by the families where she worked as a nanny. You could even argue it was one of the central themes of the film, although not the only one.

Again… I found the story both sad and uplifting. Parts of the story are actually fairly negative and disturbing. But what fascinated me the most was that her art sprung from an inexhaustible urge to interact with her environment and record it, and not from the desire to gain attention, notoriety, fame, wealth, or a following. Maybe despite this, or because of this, she left us a treasure.

162. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 17, 2015

Here we go again:
Did leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses cover up child sex abuse?
Published on Feb 16, 2015
In San Francisco, a woman is suing the Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to protect her from a known child abuser when she was a child. The Center for Investigative Reporting has shed light on accusations that religious leaders led a cover-up of child sex abuse. Special correspondent Trey Bundy of the CIR’s Reveal reports on how the organization is using the first amendment to fight these charges.

163. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 17, 2015

Did leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses
cover up child sex abuse? Video direct:

164. nigel harris price - February 17, 2015


I watched the ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ trailer on YouTube and saw a ‘helpless complexity of a REAL WOMAN’, driven to ‘capture the moments of others’ reality’…..

This is very much in contrast to the images and ‘dripping puerile text’ that Yanna uses to bolster up her obvious desire to make money out of her, dare I say it (?), art-form.

I would go further and say that a bucket of horse-shit has more spiritual worthiness than Yanna’s attempts at ‘expanding’.

165. leaf - February 17, 2015

Nigel, I did find the contrast pretty amazing. There’s definitely a need for self-promotion (and making money) for someone who wants to fulfill a desire to share their vision of the world with others. But for many, “art” becomes nothing more than a marketing campaign, schmoozing, a type of deception, and the need for attention. Meanwhile, a sincere blossoming of the creative process takes a back seat.

Similarly, in the FOF, and other cults, people pretend that they’re “working on themselves” and that this “work” is something “internal.” But in reality, the goal in the FOF is to appear to be “working on themselves.” To talk the talk. To look conscious. To seem like something or someone.

IMO, the most beautiful creations never start (or continue) from that point — the need to be somebody special. Creating something special may lead to the accouterments (fame, wealth, etc.), but it never grows from that desire.

The creative process is different for everyone. But as you wrote, you could see that Maier’s art came from a “real woman.” It came from inside of her. Amazing to think that every box of negatives might have ended up in a dumpster, never to be discovered. Makes you wonder how many other Vivian Maier-like creators are out there. Sad story, but also inspiring.

166. paul gregory - February 17, 2015

161. leaf – February 17, 2015
The film I saw suggested she was like that potentially due to childhood abuse. Childhood abuse can have lasting effects on the psyche. She was a bit ‘nuts’ and ‘eccentric’. She did some bad things sometimes, and sometimes she did some strange things. Collected newspapers and lost her temper inappropriately with children, once in a while. This explains why she was a ‘mental’. Would psychiatric drugs and therapy have improved her chances of having a meaningful normal life?
It’s a film, not Vivian Maier. It’s their ‘Finding Vivian Maier’. A narrative designed to cause a certain effect. Saying she was ‘mental’ ties it up in a bow. It’s the oscar winning happy-clappy ending cop-out, which, as I recall, some reviewers took issue with. It makes the whole thing rather voyeuristic and simplistic.
Most reviewers saw your film, the one about the sad, mixed-up ‘mental’ who took wonderful photos in a sad, complex, life-affirming way that makes you think about things, and who looked after other mothers children because they had more important things to do in a normal, sane, respectable way. Google says ‘mental illness’ if I search for it in those terms. I prefer this review, because someone thought about it beyond the surface impression, and because it doesn’t turn her dignity into a kind of sad-song about a woman who would of been nicer to children with therapy.


167. Robert Stolzle - February 18, 2015

Vivian Maier vs/ Yanna Bat Adams

Dead Mary Poppins with a bad attitude and a camera now being canonized VS/ silly woman who needs money and has a higher something to sell. Neither has much talent but without hearing Adam’s flute playing, the “thumbs up” goes to Maier.

Isn’t art about the artist telling me something new about their world? I can be moved by a flower in spring or a snap shot of a poor orphan child, but this doesn’t make it art. Pablo Picasso and Ansel Adams produced a huge volume of non-art, but occasionally hit the mark. No one hits the target every time, but everyone should be making the effort. Congrats to Maier and Adams for trying; and, yes, it involves a physical product, not some exalted claim of special powers that can’t be verified……anyone can leave a fart in the room.

Bob Stolzle

168. nigel harris price - February 19, 2015

It is not that I would now call myself a Buddhist, but the non-theistic (no Daddy figure) outlook that one can achieve spiritual, shall we say, ‘enrichment’, through gentle, humble and simple means seems something I would like to work with…..Nigel

Buddhism is a nontheistic religion or dharma, “right way of living”, that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (“the awakened one”). According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering through the elimination of ignorance and craving. Buddhists believe that this is accomplished through direct understanding and the perception of dependent origination and the Four Noble Truths. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is the attainment of the sublime state of Nirvana, by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path (also known as the Middle Way).

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Sanskrit: बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva; Pali: बोधिसत्त bodhisatta) is an enlightened (bodhi) being (sattva). Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. According to Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is one of the four sublime states a human can achieve in life (the others being an Arhat, Buddha, or Pratyekabuddha).

Dharma (/ˈdɑrmə/; Sanskrit: धर्म dharma, About this sound listen (help·info); Pali: धम्म dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in the Indian religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. There is no single word translation for dharma in western languages.

In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’. In Buddhism dharma means “cosmic law and order”, but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for “phenomena”. In Jainism dharma refers to the teachings of the Jinas and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. For Sikhs, the word dharm means the “path of righteousness”.

169. WhaleRider - February 20, 2015

re: Art

I remember viewing an exhibition hosted at my local Museum of Modern Art of works by gay artists on what being gay meant to them.

There was one work of art that I found amazing and made quite an impression upon me.

It was neither particularly “colorful”, nor flamboyant, nor erotic, nor intricate, nor spectacular, nor necessarily pleasing to the eye. It was an abstract, symbolic work.

I don’t recall the artist’s name; I don’t believe he or she is well known.

Yet, I spent about 30 minutes standing there contemplating if the artist had intended to convey some deeper emotional message, as others whisked right by the piece, for there were no placards or programs with explanations to help me “get it”.

The work was a black and white film showing what appeared to be two duplicate stainless steel ball bearings about the size of ping pong balls, rolling around together on a moving square metal plate that randomly tipped in various directions.

That was it.

In my mind popped the title, “This is How We Roll Together”, but I don’t remember if the artist actually had a name for the piece, since it so readily evoked the popular cliché.

Intrigued, I was also fascinated by how, by some unseen mechanism, the smooth, grey metal plate kept tipping only very slightly, just enough and timed just right to keep the rolling balls from falling off the edge of the plate.

How did the artist do that, I wondered?

I couldn’t tell from the monitor if the film was playing in a loop or how long it ran; there was no beginning nor ending. It seemed to be playing perpetually.

I was struck at how delicately the tipping metal plate was balanced, for the metal balls would often roll right up to the edge, stop for a brief moment as the plate gently tipped again, and then roll back in another direction, locked in a kind of dance.

I began to notice how the two metal balls had continued to roll in perfect harmony with each other, staying exactly the same distance apart as they randomly rolled together this way and that. But how?

Just how do they roll together…so perfectly…without ever hitting each other, sending both careening off the edge into oblivion?

Then it dawned on me, thanks to my High School Physics education.

I realized that in order for the two metal balls to roll in exactly the same direction and also remain exactly the same distance apart:

The two ball bearings had to be the exact same size and mass.

They had to be precisely the same…equal…and not one iota different from each other.

So maybe that’s what being gay means to the artist on a deeper level.

This was how same sex partners roll together.

Being the same not only keeps them always rolling together in the same direction no matter which way the plate happens to tip, they also keep the same distance apart without ever smacking into each other and bouncing off in opposite directions over the edge.

I got that it wasn’t about how they “come together” as straight people might like to fantasize, it is about how they stayed together…rolled together, by virtue of their sameness and not their differences.

Their “bond” is strong in a sense because of their equality. That’s what made it beautiful to watch, IMO.

These two entities displayed an ongoing relationship based upon being separate and equal. It reminded me of a gay couple I knew once who owned two cars of the exact same make, model and year, yet different colors.

(I’d like to believe that we all are stronger within, too, through a balancing of the anima and animus archetypes, rolling around with equal weight in our subtly shifting psyche …)

At that point for me, the two rolling stainless steel balls symbolized a same sex couple elegant in their synchronized dance together…able to tango right up to the very edge, freeze, switch directions together at precisely the same instant, keep their balance, keep their safe distance, stay together, and dance on.

It was like watching two well-seasoned professional ballroom dancers dance together, with the floor all to themselves, both equal in their talent, strength and mastery of the dance, but most importantly…equal in their mass and power. It didn’t matter in which direction they moved; they moved well together.

It was beautiful to watch…it plays perpetually in a corner of my mind museum, like the film.

For me, the inequality of power in a guru/disciple relationship is not so beautiful, in fact, it is grotesque.

There is no Art in it, IMO. It’s canned. It’s borrowed. Despite the melodious soundtrack, beautiful costumes, fancy props, colorful scenery, and the silly affectations, it is really a sad sado-maschocistic power play of dominance and submission.

That sickening, macabre ballet I walked out on is still playing like a spinning carnival ride in the corner of my mind museum, too. It makes me want to puke.

Thank goodness for Art.

170. paul gregory - February 20, 2015

Sorry for being dismissive, Leaf. I know a bit about mental health, I even have excerpts from a book by Foucault, and have been aware of ‘Outsider Art’ since the early ’90’s. Most of the art that has inspired me, or a lot of it, has for some reason been by women more than men, though that may just be how I see it at the moment.
I saw a piece last weekend by some person I never even bothered to write the name of, maybe the battery on my phone had died, in the Art’s Depot, Finchley. She had made three textile pieces in league with grieving children, that looked like balls of fabric all made into a sort of a3 sized quilt. Three of them, behind frames. They were multicoloured and beautiful. Not garish or disproportionately discordant. You’d have to look to find it, but it’s like that with everything. Can there be anything more perfect in the world?
I seem to recall hearing or reading that to make art, the artist must turn his back on the world. Art isn’t just about what appears to be art, the old narratives of significance, it’s about something further away and closer to home than can be imagined. Our selves. Our hearts. Love. Truth. I guess. But it’s only a story, a mirror, a reflection.

171. paul gregory - February 20, 2015

Cool! We posted at the same time, Whalerider, similar sentiments! Synchronicity! I want a selfie!

172. leaf - February 20, 2015

Thanks for your comments, Paul; no problem at all. Glad there’s disagreement, irreverence, humor, sarcasm, and head-butting going on. Much better than everyone nodding in agreement, using the same buzzwords, sticking to a party line, etc., which would be just another cult.

Response by next poster: “leaf, that’s completely ridiculous.”

Bob: “Vivian Maier vs/ Yanna Bat Adams”

I was thinking more “Vivian Maier vs. the FOF”. Striking contrast. But we could probably have a long discussion about it, and would be fun. I wish her well on her art, but wish it wasn’t a cult recruitment tool (whether it’s her attempt at a cult, or the FOF cult).

WhaleRider and Paul: beautiful posts.

173. Robert Stolzle - February 20, 2015

“Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion.”
RB (Robert Burns, that is)

I don’t know about later, but in my FoF tenure, the offering of “photographs” was mostly a sincere effort and one of the more useful exercises for me. Even today, undeserved praise strikes me as more of a handicap than benefit. I have some contact with artists and people attempting art, in addition to some personal efforts, and think that the poem catches it nicely.

The poseurs that set my hair on fire are the so called artists who are promoted, by themselves or others, at a feverish shriek in an attempt at wealth and/or fame. Among the handy examples are most all of Hollywood and the popular music industry and most of Andy Warhol’s “work”. Fame isn’t required to make good art, but it is necessary to profit from it. If this sounds like, “I may not know art, but I know what I like.” mentality, it is, but isn’t that fundamentally what any opinion is? I don’t know of any bedrock standard for judging art, although over time a consensus might suffice.

Yanna Bat and her paintings seem to me to be pretty sad. It is any artist’s great failing to believe that talent in one area can be transferred to any other. Picasso’s ceramic and pottery work were quite amateurish and pedestrian. In that regard, Yanna Bat’s apparent musical talent doesn’t translate well to “mandala symbolism” paintings.

I know we were all young and dumb once, but I can’t imagine anyone believing that YB has something valuable to teach even the most naive Oregon Houser. Even Mr. Vainglory himself (RB), mostly had the good sense to stick with what he knew.

Bob Stolzle

174. ton2u - February 20, 2015

“…Even Mr. Vainglory himself (RB), mostly had the good sense to stick with what he knew.”

‘what he knew’ is how to bamboozle naive ‘neophytes’ — seems that Yanna Bat is attempting to follow this example…. (I don’t know about the “good sense” part of it).

175. Messages From Marconi - February 20, 2015

Often, even though an individual expresses himself very well and explains in elaborate detail exactly why he feels the way he does, it is still not persuasive or interesting enough to cause a specific reader to give a fuck about the heartfelt, self-involved inner psychological motivations and inspirations of a particular vanity feature.

You know what I mean? You just don’t give a fuck about someone who takes himself THAT seriously.

176. ton2u - February 20, 2015

@ 169 Whalerider re: “Art”

“…local Museum of Modern Art of works by gay artists on what being gay meant to them… a black and white film showing what appeared to be two duplicate stainless steel ball bearings about the size of ping pong balls, rolling around together on a moving square metal plate that randomly tipped in various directions….”

my “knee jerk reaction” to your description was that it references male genitalia… or two of the same (homo) individuals coming together… separating… etc. I appreciate your deeper, reflective, ineffectual interpretation…. thanks for posting.

my 2 sense re: “art” — at it’s best it involves more than one “brain” — it “stimulates” intellectually, emotionally, viscerally.

177. Tim Campion - February 20, 2015


I think most of us are well aware of your feelings toward Whalerider. Please give it a rest.

178. nigel harris price - February 20, 2015

Just wanted to say TO ALL RECENT POSTERS…..thank you for the provocative, stimulating and ‘aiming at personal inner reflection’ feel that I hope many have derived from them. I hope to post myself, as we go, when I hope I have something worthwhile to offer…..Nigel

179. Messages From Marconi - February 20, 2015

177. Tim Campion – February 20, 2015


I think most of us are well aware of your feelings toward Whalerider. Please give it a rest


I expressed a universal truth. Not, as your psychic powers divine, merely a slight against someone with whom you feel much simpatico.

180. ton2u - February 20, 2015

@ 176 my post to Whalerider:

“I appreciate your deeper, reflective, ineffectual interpretation….”

must have been a “freudian slip” actuated by “spell check” on my computer…. I’m sure you can appreciate that….

what I meant to say: “…intellectual interpretation…”

I think “intellectual interpretation” is a necessary ingredient… AND as well, involving the other modes of perception previously mentioned.

181. ton2u - February 20, 2015

@ 179 macaroni

speaking personally, I would be more careful about declaring a “universal truth.”

182. paul gregory - February 21, 2015

Little Big Man and Love and Anger. Sublime, ton, thanks leaf and Whalerider for that great post.

‘Now everything is happening with the intense action of jukebox noise, Rock-art-time, the artist’s are uninhibited, extroverted, turned on, wild in their dancing, their merrymaking, but the art itself has become silence. Art is silent – but the jukebox rocks like thunder, itself with beat-rhythm – ‘Everythings Alright’.
1970’s text in conceptual art book

We haven’t heard the last from these Indians…

183. Golden Veil - February 21, 2015

Language that is thought and spoken – is a big part of cult indoctrination and also recovery process. Letting go of cult think / speak can take years… or maybe forever.

When those words are said here – I know what is meant. When I find myself using those words (like “play” or “feature” or “… – centered” that we were taught, the special R.E.B. Fellowship of Friends twist on the Fourth Way , it’s a little like having a foot still in the old Country Club Fellowship of Friends cult, isn’t it?

184. nigel harris price - February 21, 2015

I was talking a few hours ago to my friend and past student at my academy, Lynn. She was the one who found me my little canine friend, Ferdy and she and her husband run a farmlike ‘smallholding’ in North Devon. She is both incredibly ‘down-to-earth’, yet has an artistic flair for the wistful and intricate in jewellery. It was especially timely since I have been given the 42 day countdown on the apartment in South Wales mutual exchange paperwork and have all my reqirements taken care of. I said to her , “Why is it that things have to go so incredibly wrong in order for something so incredibly and beautifully right to burst into focus?” She said, “it is the way the world works for the aspiring.” You see, however many years we became foffed, everything can be recovered in this lifetime. Hope you like these lyrics from the 70’s…..Nigel.

I’ve got nothing on my mind, nothing to remember
Nothing to forget, I’ve got nothing to regret
But I’m all tied up on the inside
No one knows quite what I’ve got
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be, I’m not anymore

You know I’ve heard about people like me
But I never made the connection
They walk one road to set them free
And find they’ve gone the wrong direction

But there’s no need for turning back
‘Cause all roads lead to where I stand
And I believe I’ll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned

Can you remember who I was? Can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? Can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul
You alone can light my way
You alone can make me whole once again

We’ve walked both sides of every street
Through all kinds of windy weather
But that was never our defeat
As long as we could walk together

So there’s no need for turning back
‘Cause all roads lead to where we stand
And I believe we’ll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned

Don McLean – Crossroads Lyrics

185. Messages From Marconi - February 21, 2015

Pretending like there no such thing as a vanity feature will prove exceedingly counter-productive if you’ve any sort of psychological aspiration to escape the inherent ignorance that is life on Earth. Vanity is a fact of life that creates self-delusion due to excessive self-admiration, self-confidence and self-obsession.

To gain any degree of a correct view of the larger world one first has to have a correct view of oneself. Vain people cannot have a correct view of themselves unless they can first recognize their own vanity. This isn’t FOF-speak, this is an unmistakable view of the human condition.

186. Robert Stolzle - February 21, 2015

The recent discussion regarding art is good evidence of how subjective so many of our experiences are. I am pretty sure that only math and physics can properly be called objective and some of those laws may be locally specific. The rest of human endeavor can only strive to influence as many people as possible, presumably “for the best”. I know my likes and dislikes change with surprising frequency, so it seems a reasonable test to see how many might be influenced for how long as a measure of “objectivity” or some greater “truth” when it comes to art.

There was this group of people who all agreed that there had to be an objective reality out there and that one could learn how to get there for only $40.00 per month; and, this is what helped persuade me to join the FoF. It didn’t seem likely that so many people could be mistaken—–or telling the same lies. Oops, wrong again…..failed to remember mass hysteria and the Virgin Mary in the sky.

Humans seem to have come from where a solitary monkey was a dead monkey. Our need to belong is maybe only second to sex; the rare truly solitary individuals really are outliers. This makes the judgment of any group, say teenagers, easy to manipulate with the right mantra/message……”two whole beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese all on a sesame seed bun”….”when you die, your energy will feed the moon”, etc, etc.

If this is so, and I believe it is, what criteria can be used to discern good from bad? Everyone here says, “FoF–bad!”, yet it keeps rolling on?

Bob Stolzle

187. brucelevy - February 21, 2015

185. Messages From Marconi

Funny, but not like a clown funny.

188. paul gregory - February 21, 2015
189. paul gregory - February 21, 2015


No. That is not correct. A man needs to be told. Somebody tell them that we going to form an initial scouting party to tell them, that they need to be told that they need to be told.

190. ton2u - February 21, 2015

Bob Stolzle @ 186

“The recent discussion regarding art is good evidence of how subjective so many of our experiences are….”

is realizing – “how subjective… our experiences are” – a relative degree of objectivity ?


191. leaf - February 21, 2015

This site has an enormous list of the various websites the FoF uses to promote itself worldwide… a blatant attempt to deceive — whoops, sorry, to be “intentionally insincere.”

Apparently, re-branding is the new form of the school.

Thankfully, this website shows up at the top of the list of Google searches for “Fellowship of Friends.”


“To lure seekers from other traditions, and to also mitigate the effects of negative publicity, the Fellowship of Friends continually re-brands itself. Recruiting sites proliferate under a myriad of titles and themes. The websites below are generally grouped according to their primary target market. The “unofficial” sites are mostly critical of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. Updated December 22, 2014]”

192. ton2u - February 22, 2015

Someone (not you someone), ‘famously’ referred to religion as the “opiate of the masses” — need for another ‘drug’ seems to contribute to proliferation of these cults… so many cults


193. ton2u - February 22, 2015

this type of thing has been going on for a long time… will be after we’re gone I suppose:


194. Associated Press - February 22, 2015

191. leaf

In following your link to:
robertearlburton.blogspot (dot) com
and the list of Fellowship of Friends
(FoF) associated sites,
I found this:
flairvoyance (dot) com
a graphic design entity that does
work for FoF and associates.
From there, I stumbled across this:
It appears to be from 2012.
I cannot say whether that link will
be operational now or in future,
but, after an image of the new bookmark,
there is this text content:
‘With the announcement of the new bookmarks and posters, a number of questions have come up. Here are some preliminary guidelines to help you. This information can also be found on Inner Circle Squared here. [URL provided]

Please select a student in your center to be responsible for this area.

Telephone Numbers
Our new bookmarks and posters will have the telephone number of your center on them. Please make certain that this telephone number is correct and that it is working correctly. The telephone message should let the caller know they have reached your center rather than have a personal greeting. For example, “Hello, you have reached the New York center, please leave a message”. Please be sure that this telephone is regularly checked for messages and that they are returned promptly. Finally, make sure the telephone number for your center that is listed on livingpre$ence (dot) com is correct. This number can be updated by writing to tran$mittal$ (at) beingpre$ent.org. [editing done to URLs/emails/names as protection strategy]

About Posters
Posters are best used to announce a specific event, or a recurring event (e.g. each first Tuesday of the month). They are not effective if they simply have the telephone number and website information on them. Please consider that the size and layout of the poster will depend on where it will be displayed. Once you have determined the size and the text for the poster, you may contact E********* d* R** to help you prepare a file for your local printer.

Placing Bookmarks
As to where to place bookmarks, the first choice is the books of Gurdjieff,
Ouspensky, Collin and Robert Burton. Please note we may not bookmark the Gurdjieff books published by E.P Dutton Company. After that, look to the traditions that we currently study in the School, and place bookmarks in books about the traditions you feel would most attract the magnetic centers in your region or country.

Ordering Bookmarks
For centers outside of the United States, please contact E********* d* R** using the guidelines that follow.

For centers in the United States only, we will soon have printed bookmarks at Apollo. They will have the 1-800 number printed on them. Messages at this number are regularly monitored at Apollo and will be relayed to the nearest center, if they are in your area. You may order these bookmarks by contacting D****** M**** at d******m****44 (at) ymail.com.

The first thing to do is to select a local (or internet) printing company. Choose a good size of bookmarks that the company offers and collect the following information:

* the final size – please specify if in inches or centimeters. Remember that a bookmark too long would probably stick out of paperback books and is likely to be removed by the bookstore owners. We recommend not to exceed 6.5 inches/17 cm.

* the format of the file to be provided (.jpg /.pdf / or other)

* the ‘bleed’ requirements (‘bleed’ is when the color goes to the very edge of the print, like in the case of our bookmarks that have a black background. Many companies request the file to be slightly larger so they can trim it after is printed. You need to find out how much larger it needs to be – for example .125″ inch all around.

* any other requirement specified by the printing company

The second thing to do would be to translate the backside of the bookmark as well as allocate the correct phone number to be printed. There is room on the back to add text that you wish to have, adapted to your center.

Then, please send ALL this information to E********* d* R** *** (at) flairvoyance.com. She will send you the final files (for front and back). If you any any question about the technical requirements of the file, contact her directly as well.

Once you receive the files, please proofread it very carefully before sending it to the printer. If you see any mistakes, send the corrections back to her for the final files.’

This is posted here on the blog and made public so that prospects will be made aware of recruitment strategies used by Fellowship of Friends.

195. Associated Press - February 22, 2015

Link above does not seem to work for some reason but Google:
and a citation shows up that does seem to take you there.

196. Parson Yorick - February 22, 2015

Re: 193: Calling it “this type of thing” paints with a very broad brush. The Wikipedia article re the “burnt over district” seemed to be describing a lot of different religious experimentation – not a bad thing, necessarily, in my opinion (as long as it does not become exploitative.) Also the district mentioned includes Chautauqua, NY, home of the Chautauqua movement, “the most American thing in America,” according to Teddy Roosevelt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chautauqua

197. ton2u - February 22, 2015

@ 196 parson yorick

as jaded as I am, I still like the idea of “utopian social experiments” -call me naive or just hanging on to hope for positive social change… I’ll presume for the moment that you’ve been through the FOF and if so, you might admit that what was referred to above as “this type of thing” and etc, does provide fertile ground for exploitation… the FOF as a cult is a specific topic but I hope you get the point of my ‘broad brush’ here… it has to do with a general mentality which contributes to the proliferation of “this type of thing” –that is, the seeming need for an “opiate” in ‘religious’ form, people seem to need to believe in something, someone (no not necessarily you someone). but I suppose in fairness you’re right, at least in the context of an idea — maybe it’s true that not all cults are “bad”


198. nigel harris price - February 22, 2015

194. Associated Press

Christ of the Jesus Variety !!!!! …..is there no end to the ‘financial steamroller’, known as the Fellowship of Friends ????? I thought the Jehovah’s Witnesses were pushy enough by turning up at your door with – “We are here to tell you about the relationship you can have with God.” Bollocks to alL those TRULY EVIL, MONEY GRUBBING BASTARDS (AND BASTARDESSES LIKE BANANA BASEBALL BAT!)

199. WhaleRider - February 22, 2015

200. WhaleRider - February 22, 2015

Oops, here’s the finished piece, with subtitles…

201. WhaleRider - February 22, 2015

Ok here’s just the link.

202. WhaleRider - February 22, 2015

Click on CC and the subtitles will show on above link.

203. Parson Yorick - February 22, 2015

Re 197. Yes I was in the FoF from 1978-1982, having joined in the Chicago Centre. I’ve described some of my experiences on the previous pages of this blog. I don’t equate all religious experiments with exploitative cults, but I acknowledge that some are exactly that. On a distantly related note, Nathaniel Hawthorne joined a cult and stayed in it about a year until the cult self-destructed. His experiences can be found in a slightly fictionalized form in his novel “The Blithedale Romance.”

204. Parson Yorick - February 22, 2015

I neglected to mention that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s alter-ego in “The Blithedale Romance” is named Miles (Miles!) Coverdale.

205. Messages From Marconi - February 22, 2015

206. shardofoblivion - February 23, 2015

#205 another revealing picture of Burton. This time he looks like some dodgy gangster type, dressed as gangsters do in OTT nouveau riche splendor. I like the coincidence that the gold beading on his wall decoration is behind his left ear lobe, looking for all the world like some gypsy ear ring, not a look his Goddessness would have aimed for.

207. Tim Campion - February 23, 2015


You may have just raised the status of Burton and his group on the NSA’s watchlist. And Siamese Twinge has provided someone’s (but not that someone’s) updated mug shot for the FBI file.

As a supposed Fellowship defender once posted, “Be Careful.”

208. shardofoblivion - February 23, 2015

#205 No doubt Burton imagines his devoted followers would bath in the lambent glow of his higher emotional warmth radiating from his eyes, but actually they are the calculating eyes of a cold hearted psychopath.

209. Robert Stolzle - February 23, 2015

Re: 197,197&203 and all jaded magnetic centers out there-

I just read a great article in the Feb. 9, 2015 New Yorker magazine titled “The Trip Experiment” by Michael Pollan (the well known food writer). The piece describes the renewed interest in psychedelic drugs by various credible researchers. Recent experiments with psilocybin suggest it produces long lasting changes in a person’s sense of religion and spirituality. LSD is thought to produce an even stronger effect. The article suggests these drugs can be very helpful for people who are terminally ill and dealing with end of life issues.

So, in confession, this is why I ended up interested in the Fourth Way and joined the FoF and I will testify that at least 75% of the FoFers I knew back in the early ’70s had experimented with psychedelic drugs and occasionally still did. So, if there are any shills for Burton reading this, break out the Orange Sunshine and get everyone to re-up! But, be careful, the drugs are also thought to have a positive effect on some mental disorders and might break the Goddesses’ grip on RB. He could backslide and just be a #5 again and then who’d want to join?


210. nigel harris price - February 23, 2015

The truth is not negativity. It only seems like negativity because it invariably insults the religion that each false ego uses to convince itself and insist to others that it is on the side of God. You are not on God’s side because God has no sides. The law of God without exception condemns every ego to the eternal hell of self-delusion, regardless what religion the believer worships.
The realization of God begins with non-attachment, non-identification. The first godly act each awakener is required to perform is to exorcise all the saints he worships from his mind. These are the most debilitating of identifications, these misguided myths of perfection.
Personal note: The operator of this website has been both a member of the Fellowship of Friends and the Gurdjieff Foundation (along with several more secret esoteric societies). I was in Carla Needleman’s group at the Saint Elmo Way house. Both these organizations are cults……from Siamese Twins

211. nigel harris price - February 23, 2015

Richard Dawkins against religion…..

212. nigel harris price - February 23, 2015

Oh bugger this you tube…..try again…..Nigel

213. nigel harris price - February 23, 2015

Thank Robert Earl Burton…..is he not God?????

214. nevasayneva - February 25, 2015

Birkam yoga guru in court….

LOS ANGELES — He is the yoga guru who built an empire on sweat and swagger. He has a stable of luxury cars and a Beverly Hills mansion. During trainings for hopeful yoga teachers, he paces a stage in a black Speedo and holds forth on life, sex and the transformative power of his brand of hot yoga. “I totally cure you,” he has told interviewers. “Whatever the problem you have.”

But a day of legal reckoning is drawing closer for the guru, Bikram Choudhury. He is facing six civil lawsuits from women accusing him of rape or assault. The most recent was filed on Feb. 13 by a Canadian yogi, Jill Lawler, who said Mr. Choudhury raped her during a teacher-training in the spring of 2010

“The cases are moving very quickly,” said Mary Shea Hagebols, a lawyer for the six women suing Mr. Choudhury. “Any stays have been lifted, and we’re moving full steam ahead.”

– I just love this lawyer’s use of metaphor…:-)

215. Messages From Marconi - February 25, 2015

Burton with one the slaves from the labor camp

216. Messages From Marconi - February 25, 2015

The infamous parlor scenery

217. nigel harris price - February 25, 2015

Dis-flying-fortress-gusting…..both images…..Nigel

218. nigel harris price - February 25, 2015

Could this guy have done REB?…..that would have emptied the victim pool !

219. nigel harris price - February 25, 2015
220. nigel harris price - February 26, 2015

…..the beginnings of consciousness and the divine feminine…..

Ayuvuasca and Yuan-Lin…..godesses, not male figures…..creation

221. WhaleRider - February 27, 2015

Here’s the downside of becoming too conscious.

A life of suffering.


222. nigel harris price - February 27, 2015

Whalerider…..you are talking of the senses being ‘cranked up’ (I, for instance, suffer from ‘peripheral hearing’ – in a noisy room I cannot hear the person next to me) so that the temporal world situations become very irritating…..

If you took the time to listen to Graham Hancock’s superb (and humble) talk (it is almost 19 minutes, whereas I am sure you probably lasted almost 5) you would realise he is describing human development, taking a ‘branch off’ evolotionism and recognising that vaious herbal and sacred plants led to encounters with spirits, Ayuhuasca herself, and almost the ‘vibrating karma’ of the aspirant. Hardly gum chewing, sir…..

I have heard ‘through the grapevine’, since never having experienced it my self, that ‘butt-plugging’ – guru to pretty boy or the other way round (and up, down, sideways – who cares ?) has both ecstasy and excrutiating pain – anyway, I cannot deal with your world except on this blog and except by saying “you cannot mature without leaving major greivances behind”

Buddha said – “Pain is Universal; Suffering is Optonal.”

223. nigel harris price - February 27, 2015

…..cognitive dissonance producing…..

224. WhaleRider - February 27, 2015

No, Nigel, I’m not speaking about the senses being cranked up as a result of a brain abnormality, the article and particulaly the comments section speak to other aspects of misophonia, namely, how unhappy it can make a person and how the condition is passed on to others.

In this forum I’m talking about the cult practice of pursuing heightened awareness which in turn makes one sensitive to sound.

In fact, during a concert at the town hall, someone informed me that my nose was whistling while I breathed. That was the genesis of my experience with misophonia. Once I became sensitized about it, I started noticing it in others.

Do you imagine anyone smacks their lips or slurps their soup during a dinner with burton? Maybe that’s why eating has become frowned upon with the influx of Eastern Europeans with different customs.

On the other hand, the kind of “expanded consciousness” you are speaking about, in which one can contact the so-called spirit world, is, IMO, readily available in our dreams, no sacred plant substances needed.

Now I suppose taking a drug while you are awake is the short cut to allow you to be more aware of your experience, but the same journey can be made each night by simply making the sustained effort to pay attention to your dreams. A simple B complex vitamin supplement taken right before bedtime usually will stimultate a plethora of dreams, each one a potential growth and learning experience.

I realize the medications you are on to keep you from harming yourself or others (which I thank you for taking) may prevent you from dreaming, so you may have to trust me on this.

225. ton2u - February 27, 2015

@ 224 whalerider,
“…On the other hand, the kind of “expanded consciousness” you are speaking about, in which one can contact the so-called spirit world, is, IMO, readily available in our dreams, no sacred plant substances needed….”

in this case one “path” does not necessarily negate the other imo

@ 220 nigel, the tiff with whalerider aside, thanks for the link to a mesmerizing “ted” monologue by graham hancock — he’s right on! a government sponsored ‘war on drugs’ IS a war on consciousness and thereby on sovereign individuality….

I’m repeating myself here but on the lighter side, a link to entertainment from a local ‘pop’ group with an apropos moniker – enjoy:


226. WhaleRider - February 27, 2015

In the long run, I think these two paths do diverge, and I believe it is healthier and more self-empowering to rely more on yourself than on plant substances.

Otherwise one runs the risk of eventually worshipping the plant more than the process, as one can observe in other cultures.

Plus, you really don’t want to overdose or ingest the wrong kind of mushroom, for instance, that might turn into a nightmare from which you don’t awaken.

Which is more sustainable, feeling refreshed by a good dream or burned out from an acid trip?

Each has their place, but flipping that switch a few too many times and it starts getting a bit loose, from what I have observed in others.

227. ton2u - February 27, 2015

“…Which is more sustainable, feeling refreshed by a good dream or burned out from an acid trip?”

for some “sustainability” is a consideration… that’s fair. I would say so too is inspiration a consideration… after all we are talking about dreams and visions.

I don’t necessarily agree with making an equivalence between an acid-head, burnt-out from “recreational abuse” – with the sort of “use” implied in the graham hancock link… I do think we agree that “each has their place…” I’ll add – “each has their place… and time.”

228. Messages From Marconi - February 28, 2015

Ayuvuasca, I’m not expert on such things, consciousness or whatnot, but the idea that you can eat (drink or ingest) something and it will actually make you more conscious seems like a primitive superstition. I took LSD when I was teenager and it only caused temporary psychosis. It is debatable that such a state is a higher consciousness, I doubt it. It was certainly a more energetic state.

229. Ames Gilbert - February 28, 2015

Whalerider, 201-202.

230. nigel harris price - February 28, 2015

229 Ames Gilbert

Uuh ? …..perfect because your voice is in it ?

231. shardofoblivion - February 28, 2015

‘ “To LSD or to vitamin B” is that the question? ‘

232. nigel harris price - February 28, 2015

231 shardofoblivion

That “Grateful Dead” track – limp and intangible, with a voice that was audible, but not distinct enough that just a few words could be heard…..hey ! but Jerry Garcia was God to many !…..

Maybe joiners-uppers of the FOF wanted their ‘world to be tightened up’, their indistinctness to be brought to a pinnacle of being…..

Well…..hard luck that it was not !!!!!

You see…..I and my close companions, each who have been through much…..realize that taking responsibility for your own life, however deep it may have sunk before, is the only answer to The Question of Life…..

FOR ME…Reiki work is the connection of Higher Planes to us, on the lower (you are right, not psychadelic drugs) and dreams, whatever they may be, seem only to be asking vague questions of our (sub)conscious…..they never solve anything…..(Whalerider!)

Whalerider thinks that psychosis harms (because the shrinko text books say!?!?!)…..for me those states are often the ‘symbolic leaps of faith’…..the ‘non-hum-drum-daily-crap’ that lead us to either physical or metaphysical ‘new ground’…..

If you want to see the difference between a posing success machine – Wayne Meeten Jeweller or Wayne Meeten Facebook, who churns things out like his Japanese masters did…..and the pieces that I have produced – http://www.exesilver.co.uk – and will teach others in Abergavenny, Gwent, Monmouthshire, South Wales…..I hope you can see the difference…..Nigel

233. Robert Stolzle - February 28, 2015

I’d be willing to bet that if it weren’t for psychedelic drug experiences and the occasional schizophrenic, that the FoF wouldn’t exist. There may be dreams with meaning, but, for me, they have never been anything akin to a mystical/religious experience. Without some taste of “another reality” there is no hint, no notion of some desirable, alternative reality. And without this promise as bait, the FoF and most gurus would have no followers.

Bob Stolzle

234. WhaleRider - February 28, 2015

@Robert Stolzle

Although Australian Aborigines used Pitcheri for its narcotic properties, the plant did not cause hallucinations in the user.

As a result of the dearth of psychoactive substances available to them on the isolated island, the aboriginal culture and mythology relied heavily upon “dreamtime” as their portal and source of spiritual insight and origin myths.

In fact, they consider the “seen” world to be the illusion and the dream world to be reality…the place from which we are born, and the place we go after we die.

235. nigel harris price - February 28, 2015
236. nigel harris price - February 28, 2015

from ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’, by William Wordsworth…..

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

237. ton2u - February 28, 2015

shard… ‘ “To LSD or to vitamin B” is that the question? ‘

Your question has a nice ring to it… what if ‘both are true’ – in some cases (for some) it may not be a question of “or.”

Conflating drugs and their effects is part of the general ignorance/ paranoia surrounding the subject – drugs “scheduled” by the government reflect this and… etc. LSD is synthesized in a laboratory based on substances found in nature (ergot) — ‘experts agree’ that the experience is ‘flavored’ by the technology involved… and not all so-called ‘psychedelics’ have the same effect… I realize I’m coming off as a sort of advocate here which is not necessarily the intention… my original comment was in agreement with statements from the ‘ted talk’ by graham hancock – “The War on Consciousness” – there is a political/ social dimension i.e. policies and the mind-set which creates a “war on drugs” — conducting a war affects the general populace. To be clear, I’m not saying that ingesting these ‘substances’ is for everyone and certainly, as Hancock stated, partaking is not for “recreational” purposes – in fact, as he points out, the substances prohibit abuse. But for some they might act as an occasional “signpost” along the road… or a wake-up call… one may or may not need a ‘sign’ – or only periodically for example… or not at all, there are of course many other ways of navigating life… but policies based on the fear and ignorance which demonizes and outlaws use of certain substances, restricts certain avenues and certain human rights… I know, life isn’t fair, and there are ways around the ‘law’ but that includes unnecessarily manufactured elements of risk.

228 The “temporary psychosis” referred to above is a familiar interpretation… many factors go into this… age and maturity, psychological and emotional predispositions, expectations, preparation, set and setting, the type of drug, etc… a lot has been written in this regard. Integrating an experience like this would be “the work” involved – not all are able to… there may be fear over the experience of ‘losing one’s mind’ for example, there may be lack of proper guidance at the time and thereafter, or maybe one just doesn’t care to work with the experience after the fact, and dismisses it as such. dreams are (likewise) very often dismissed, people generally don’t care to work with dreams… but there is a process for example – “dream amplification” so-called… anyone who cares to, can do it… a dream is an experience on the ‘psychic’ level – amplification is a way to work with the dream experience and integrate it into waking life… but this takes a kind of will and effort… in this sense, somewhat similarly so too does working with the drug induced ‘psychosis’ mentioned above.

(yes i agree with whalerider, re: dream work it’s a sustainable and sustaining path, it’s a more accessible, gentler approach than dealing with chemicals and/ or “plant teachers” and all that implies).

228 “…but the idea that you can eat (drink or ingest) something and it will actually make you more conscious seems like a primitive superstition.…” – use of the word “more” here is a reflection of a model, or “aim” which is all too tangled up with the current mania of acquisition, getting “more and more and more and more…” as if “more” is always better… it’s not necessarily so. rather than the notion to “make you MORE conscious” it could be ‘framed’ like this: as a way to help change perspective/ perception, to see things differently or maybe for the first time… etc. as for the statement; “…seems like primitive superstition” – the key here is “seems.” the veil of seeming is a predisposition / precondition based on not having had the experience and some understanding thereof… therefore it is dismissed out of hand by it’s own kind of primitive superstition.

more germane to this site… thanks bob stozle:

“Without some taste of “another reality” there is no hint, no notion of some desirable, alternative reality. And without this promise as bait, the FoF and most gurus would have no followers.”

certainly fewer followers.


238. Messages From Marconi - February 28, 2015

Drugs and dreams? What about the everyday, every-minute reality that is starting back at you? What about the fact that you are THIS bored with yourself? What about the fact that you seek fantastic hallucinatory dreamscapes in favor of plain existence as it presents itself each and every minute of walking, talking and breathing life? There has got to be some “conscious reality” loaded into that starling realization, somewhere.

239. Messages From Marconi - February 28, 2015

Drugs and dreams? What about the everyday, every-minute reality that is staring back at you? What about the fact that you are THIS bored with yourself? What about the fact that you seek fantastic hallucinatory dreamscapes in favor of plain existence as it presents itself each and every minute of walking, talking and breathing life? There has got to be some “conscious reality” loaded into that starling realization, somewhere.

240. shardofoblivion - February 28, 2015

#237 Ton2U, I agree with both. Both psychedelic drugs and dreams have helped me see things otherwise not possible, and I also am saddened by the way that all drug taking is lumped together in the minds of many. I joined the FoF with the purpose of achieving the states I had sampled with LSD without having to take the risk of swallowing an illegal tablet. A sort of higher states junky mentality. For all the years of sitting sensing myself in a suit in refined surroundings, I never got any state that came remotely close to tripping.

241. ton2u - February 28, 2015

“What about the everyday, every-minute reality that is staring back at you?”

yes, that too.

“What about the fact that you are THIS bored with yourself?”

quite the contrary.

“What about the fact that you seek fantastic hallucinatory dreamscapes in favor of plain existence…”

to my statement previously made:

“…based on the fear and ignorance which demonizes and outlaws use of certain substances…”

I’ll add “hysteria” as an emotional reaction.

“There has got to be some “conscious reality” loaded into that starling realization, somewhere.”

“conscious reality” / “consensus reality” ? may be food for thought:


242. WhaleRider - February 28, 2015

Good point about reality, Marconi, I think it’s a question of contrast, like you don’t miss something until after it’s gone.

I include my dreams as part of how I define my Self, and they are never boring.

243. Messages From Marconi - February 28, 2015

Ton2u, if you are trying to convince me and thus vicariously convince yourself that you are anywhere near as together as your written words seem to demonstrate, then you are wasting your time.

We both know you are secretly an irrational mess full of existential anxieties about questions you constantly worry over concerning whether or not you have as yet found the insight to even have thought of.

244. ton2u - February 28, 2015

“…if you are trying to convince me and thus…”

no I’m not trying to convince you of anything, just “speaking” my mind… (though I do appreciate the “fodder” and this forum as a way of processing experience).

“…your written words seem to demonstrate…”

here, ‘words are all I have.’

“…you are secretly an irrational mess…”

careful g, that sounds like a personal attack… and you’ve been doing so well.

re: “…existential anxieties about questions…”

tis the human condition, is it not?

245. ton2u - February 28, 2015


re: “doing so well… lately”

the “suicide bummer” riff was a stroke of ‘genius’ — ‘temporary psychosis?’ ;-0

and thanks (I think) for the photos of blowjob bob… needed a scalding shower after first viewing… how they do make the skin crawl… learned to just scroll past… nevertheless, the images do represent more “fodder” here.

246. brucelevy - March 1, 2015

I was wondering how long before Greg reverted back to his usual offensive self. It’s always inevitable.

247. Messages From Marconi - March 1, 2015

Sorry Ton2u. I was just teasing about the mess. Even Spock wasn’t half as logical as you are.

248. ton2u - March 1, 2015

live long and prosper.

249. nigel harris price - March 1, 2015
250. Barbara - March 2, 2015

Nigel, it was nice to visit your website and to see those pieces in silver. Mexico is great in silver as well, thank you.

251. nigel harris price - March 2, 2015

Dear Barbara…..I often wonder what my criteria will be for making commissions once I become established in Wales…..certainly…no ceremonial swords or medals for the military (paid killers)…..perhaps, no ‘holy hardware’ for churches (pyramidial heirarchies)…..and certainly nothing for the government…..my motto ‘little things for little people’ has held true for the last ten years, and I would want it to continue…..the sort of pieces individuals would value for themselves and hand down as family heirlooms…..Nigel

252. We Were There - March 3, 2015

Doesn’t REB (in the picture in 205) look like he has had a facelift?

253. Robert Stolzle - March 3, 2015

He is very well preserved for an old satyr, but will make a beautiful corpse. Think the last followers will hire a Russian embalmer and set him up like Lenin for all posterity to view?

What is supposed to happen now that he is so high and mighty( Man #7, right?), be lifted up to heaven by doves—-or boy angels? According to the story, Gurdjeiff pooted and was never heard from again.

Re: #239 —– everyday reality and plain existence

That is a good point, why do we get bored with our everyday existence and look for other “realities”. Why do we find magical thinking more attractive than logical thinking? As with the psychedelic drugs and religious experiences, this preference in so much of humanity is one very big reason for the existence of churches, cults and art societies. I think, but am by no means convinced, that having found ourselves at the top of the pyramid and still facing death, that we invented god(s) to blame our failings on. In my view, magical thinking does recognize that we really aren’t much, if any, in control of our so called destiny, but it fails mankind by creating an excuse for all the failures.

Magical thinking and our general boredom (perhaps from too easy a life) seem a major factor in getting people to experiment with hallucinogens and cults. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of con men and women willing to exploit this niche.

Be careful what you pray for;
Bob Stolzle

254. nigel harris price - March 3, 2015

The secret of the Self is The Self Itself…..being lonely from a woman to love or holding on to a family may not be there…..

255. nigel harris price - March 3, 2015

To the folks who contribute to this blog…..

256. nigel harris price - March 3, 2015

To WhaleRider and his dream states…..

257. ton2u - March 3, 2015

you use the words “our” and “we” a lot… I don’t agree with speaking (or writing) in ‘universals’ like this because, while you can’t (or shouldn’t) assume to speak for me, you can certainly speak for yourself — as in: “…why do I get bored…” and “why do I find magical thinking more attractive…” and “…MY general boredom…” etc, etc.

if the idea in positing questions is to answer them, it can help if they’re redirected back to the questioner…. otherwise it’s just pontificating… not that there’s anything wrong with that… but in this case, does the question need an answer? I don’t think so… pontificating seems to be an end in itself.

why assume everyone (else) is bored ?

by now this oft used phrase “magical thinking” is a well-worn cliche’ — it’s thrown around as a way of discrediting what is deemed a “nonlogical” perspective — and this is done without even considering that thinking in-and-of-itself is “magical.”


258. Robert Stolzle - March 4, 2015


You are correct, there is a modicum of pontification, however the questions I ask here are genuine. When I post questions on this blog, I really do want to know your and other’s opinions since, I assume, most of the posts here are from people with some experience pondering psychological and metaphysical topics.

In regard to the question about why humans are so prone to “magical thinking”. I do posit answers that are only my opinions regarding a possible reason and not intended as some universal truth. I do this to suggest a starting point or sounding board and hopefully encourage some additional discussion—-it rarely works since there so much emotional venting, personal attacking and so little rational discussion here.

The plural pronouns, our and we, are always used in the sense of my perception of all mankind and are certainly not focussed on including you or the people posting here or ex FoFers or any other specific group in the question at hand. It is simply inclusive language intended to suggest that, I believe, I am a part of a very large segment of mankind who behave, or have behaved, in one way or another and am therefore entitled to ask question or make comments as the spirit moves me.

Bob Stolzle

259. Messages From Marconi - March 4, 2015

Bob Stolzle, Ton2u is simply using these many posts to practice his ability to challenge logical fallacies. I’m sure there is nothing personal in it.


260. leaf - March 4, 2015

The FoF is a training ground for pontificating (“expressing one’s opinions in a way considered annoyingly pompous and dogmatic”). “We” learned it from a pro. Maybe not an easy habit to break.

Although… with the discontinuation a few years ago of angles at meetings, there’s probably a lot less pontificating going on these days, if you know what’s best for you.

I’d rather have the opportunity to read someone’s pontificating than listen to more of the same reprocessed garbage. (“One must work on negative emotions and value the school to reach the inner circle.”)

261. WhaleRider - March 4, 2015

From what I understand, magical thinking and superstition are vestiges of our childhood, when the world seemed magical, and we believed in Santa Claus.

Logic and the ability to spot fallacious thinking are emblems of intellectual maturity, IMO, along with graciously accepting feedback from others.

Sure wish we could turn the page here. Over 200 posts and the page gets a bit wonky to navigate. I’ve sent Steve an email request, but no response. Anyone else what to send him a nudge?

262. ton2u - March 4, 2015

bob @ 258

you have encouraged additional discussion, thanks for that… and you’re certainly ‘entitled’ as you say, to question and comment as the spirit moves you… if you and ‘macaroni’ are ‘bored’ — you posit the question “…why do we get bored… etc” — you’re not ‘paying attention.’

263. Parson Yorick - March 4, 2015

Posting more photos of unowho would be the best nudge I can think of for a new page.

264. brucelevy - March 4, 2015
265. Robert Stolzle - March 5, 2015

Bruce-That is quite a scale— a little short of the cyanide koolaid, but way past my level of commitment. Ouch!, Ouch! Ouch!

ton2u–I don’t think I ever suggested that I was personally bored….I am not. The idea was that 21st century humans (WE), freed from the need for rituals to make the buffalo return and tree sprites to keep us safe, should be less inclined to “magical thinking” and the associated religious fervor. That doesn’t seem to be the case in the good old USA (and most of the planet) and I was suggesting that “modern man” (US) might find mysticism and magic more interesting than going to work at the factory and watching sitcoms (boredom).

But, as Whalerider suggests, this behavior could well be a vestige of our early development. I have seen some intelligent people with very strange beliefs (e.g. FoFers) and would have to suggest that, if this is the case, it might be some sort of emotional wiring problem rather than a question of intelligence or education that leads to this type of thinking (magical). In posts #209 and #233 I stated that I personally suspect much of this type of thinking is a result of psychotropic drug use or chemical imbalances in the brain. What do you think, ton?

leaf- I do try to not get on the soap box and certainly don’t have any great advice for the folks posting here. So far as I know, I’ve never met anyone here, so there isn’t enough understanding on my part to guess at, let alone judge and pontificate about, anyone’s troubles or beliefs. With that caveat, I have to say, there is a component of the blogging here that reminds me of the Irish toast that goes “everyone is crazy except thee and me and sometimes I worry about thee”. (“Ah say that’s a joke son”–Foghorn Leghorn)

Parson- I sort of like the geezer pics of unowho—-I can see the grim reaper just around the corner……and they seem to wind folks up.

“Live long and prosper”

Bob Stolzle

266. Barbara - March 5, 2015

260. leaf – “Although… with the discontinuation a few years ago of angles at meetings, there’s probably a lot less pontificating going on these days”

In my early days I was still able to give a few angles. I felt it was great for healing to be able to hear what fellows were going through. But I was also there when the ‘discontinuation of angles at meetings’, replacing current community members angles for ancients sayings… back at the time when P.Bshp was transitioning… some years back in March

267. Tim Campion - March 5, 2015

Robert Stolzle,

Do you recall (I think while he was still in his 30s) Robert Burton predicting that he would die at age 72? Consistent with his posing as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, he even expressed the expectation that he would be martyred. Well, he’s now nearing his 76th birthday. Some of us were hoping he’d get at least one prediction right.

268. jomopinata - March 5, 2015

265/Robert Stoltzle

“I have seen some intelligent people with very strange beliefs (e.g. FoFers) and would have to suggest that, if this is the case, it might be some sort of emotional wiring problem rather than a question of intelligence or education that leads to this type of thinking (magical).”

I like Michael Shermer’s statement that “[s]mart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.”

269. ton2u - March 5, 2015

ok Bob, thanks again for the discussion… but now I’m confused… you’re not including yourself when you use “we” ( in this case re: boredom) ? (blowjob bob used to say “confusion is a high state” but I think this was designed or at least had the effect of “normalizing” the cognitive dissonance experienced by his “students”). anyway, thanks for the “high state.”

But I get your point re: the “psychedelic” experience – in many cases it lead to involvement in cults… shard’s post @ 240 echos my experience and how I came to be involved in the FOF… many moons ago, after a brief phase of ‘experimentation’ with ‘entheogens’ I surmised that there must be a way to achieve ‘higher states’ without a pill… that began my search for the way – soon thereafter I found “In Search of the Miraculous” which seemed to describe ‘a way.’ That book also had a bookmark with a local phone number… being young, naive and over-zealous, I picked up the phone — the rest is, as they say “history.” Boredom never had anything to do with it… but maybe that’s just me.

stephan hoeller’s talks may be of interest for those still on “the path” – I think I can safely say “we’re” all on ‘a path’ one way or another… where it leads is part of the mystery… if nothing else, hoeller’s monologues may help with insomnia… and / or make for good bedtime stories… here’s one of many on the internet:

270. ton2u - March 5, 2015

268. jomo

i’ve heard said: “you (one) can rationalize anything.”

re: “[s]mart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.”

“But surely if these folk were really really smart, they would see these potential pitfalls and sidestep them. Strikes me you are talking about people who are academically bright, but not bright enough to know that you also need to be street wise, and think strategically.”


271. Messages From Marconi - March 5, 2015

Remember the Enneagram of Personality Types? How lame was that? I heard the guy who invented it did so while on LSD. You really have to be mentally anemic to fall for that scam.

272. Robert Stolzle - March 5, 2015


Yes, I do recall that RB had made the “martyred at 72” prediction. I wasn’t present when that comment was made, but I do remember there being a great deal of palaver and many “angles of thought” about it. However, given his track record with such predictions, I can’t get excited about this one, either. The “geezer pics” posted recently show someone in fair condition for his age—-dammit!

What!? They outlawed the “angles of thought” at meetings? That practice, along with the “photographs” thing were a couple of the few useful things the FoF did for its members. What was the presumed problem? Too many people thinking for themselves and not hewing to the party line? Did this “adjustment” cause anyone to leave or did everyone just go baa, baa, baaing along?

Bob Stolzle

273. ton2u - March 5, 2015

271 messages

don’t throw baby out with the bathwater:


274. Barbara - March 5, 2015

“Too many people thinking for themselves and not hewing to the party line?”
-Yes, specially the pivotal Russians asking direct questions I believe…

“Did this “adjustment” cause anyone to leave?”
-Yes, pretty much…

“Or did everyone just go baa, baa, baaing along?”
Pontificating through ancient sayings began…

275. Messages From Marconi - March 5, 2015


“Crick, who died ten days ago…”

Looks like the drugs finally caught up with him.

276. ton2u - March 5, 2015

re: “Looks like the drugs finally caught up with him.”

“drugs” or otherwise, one way or another, it – death – catches up with all. (Crick had 88 years of life).

thanks at least for looking at the link and responding… but really?? if seriously, that’s all you got from it you might as well pass by the hoeller link – you wouldn’t have the ‘fortitude’ for it…. but maybe you’re “teasing about” again.


277. WhaleRider - March 5, 2015

I highly recommend the Hoeller lecture on Jung’s concept of spirit. Listening to it, I felt a great deal of personal synchronicity.

Many thanks, ton2u.

278. Golden Veil - March 5, 2015

Some call the psychedelic experience “fool’s gold”, but I had a life changing mystical experience with psilocybin when I was 19. I still clearly recall the epiphany I realized that really made a difference in how I felt from then on. I recently read an article that reflected much of what I experienced.

From p. 40:

Here, a few excepts from the article I read on psilocybin and its ability to instigate long term positive change in the February 9, 2015 issue of The New Yorker, “The Trip Treatment” by Michael Pollan:

“Pahnke-Richards Mystical Experience Questionnaire, based in part on William James’s writing in “The Varieties of Religious Experience.” measures feelings of unity, sacredness, ineffability, peace and joy, as well as the impression of having transcended space and time and the “noetic sense” that the experience has disclosed some objective truth about reality. A “complete” mystical experience is one that exhibits all six characteristics.”

“More than a year after their psilocybin sessions volunteers who had had the most complete mystical experiences showed significant increases in their “openness,” one of the five domains that psychologists look at in assessing personality traits. (The others are conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.) Openness, which encompasses aesthetic appreciation, imagination, and tolerance of others’ viewpoints, is a good predictor of creativity.”

From p. 45:

“The default-mode network was first described in 2001, in a landmark paper by Marcus Raichle, a neurologist at Washington University, in St. Louis, and it has since become the focus of much discussion in neuroscience. The network comprises a critical and centrally situated hub of brain activity that links parts of the cerebral cortex to deeper, older structures in the brain, such as the limbic system and the hippocampus.

The network, which consumes a significant portion of the brain’s energy, appears to be most active when we are least engaged in attending to the world or to a task. It lights up when we are daydreaming, removed from sensory processing, and engaging in higher-level “meta-cognitive” processes such as self-reflection, mental time travel, rumination, and “theory of mind”—the ability to attribute mental states to others. Carhart-Harris describes the default-mode network variously as the brain’s “orchestra conductor” or “corporate executive” or “capital city,” charged with managing and “holding the entire system together.” It is thought to be the physical counterpart of the autobiographical self, or ego.

“The brain is a hierarchical system,” Carhart-Harris said. “The highest-level parts”—such as the default-mode network—“have an inhibitory influence on the lower-level parts, like emotion and memory.” He discovered that blood flow and electrical activity in the default-mode network dropped off precipitously under the influence of psychedelics, a finding that may help to explain the loss of the sense of self that volunteers reported. (The biggest dropoffs in default-mode-network activity correlated with volunteers’ reports of ego dissolution.) Just before Carhart-Harris published his results, in a 2012 paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a researcher at Yale named Judson Brewer, who was using fMRI to study the brains of experienced meditators, noticed that their default-mode networks had also been quieted relative to those of novice meditators. It appears that, with the ego temporarily out of commission, the boundaries between self and world, subject and object, all dissolve. These are hallmarks of the mystical experience.


279. ton2u - March 5, 2015

thank you GV… I think this type of experience still tends to be ‘closeted’ because of the sort of negative stigma reflected earlier here by some… i.e. characterizations such as “temporary psychosis” @ 228, or implied escape from “reality,” or connecting it to “boredom” etc.

thank you whalerider for many insight-filled posts here.

280. ton2u - March 5, 2015

re: 279. “… boredom…. and etc” –

to the short list of stigma(s) here, add “chemical imbalances in the brain:”

265 Robert Stolzle
“…In posts #209 and #233 I stated that I personally suspect much of this type of thinking is a result of psychotropic drug use or chemical imbalances in the brain. What do you think, ton?”

thanks for the discussion Bob, hope I answered your question.

281. WhaleRider - March 5, 2015

Actually, ton2u, from what Marconi has told me first hand while we were in the cult together, his experiece with taking an enormous amount of LSD, in the neighborhood of 10,000mgm or more, probably was temporary psychosis, which necessated hospitalization.

282. Messages From Marconi - March 5, 2015


Incorrect information. It only necessitated incarceration (until my parents came to get me out, I was 16 at the time). I was treated briefly for cuts and scratches by a nurse, later. But this was just one of many excursion into the warm narcotic American night.

283. ton2u - March 5, 2015

although I appreciate the poetic turn of phrase, “entheogens” are not to be conflated with “narcotics” as in “… the warm narcotic American night.” This is part of the ignorance that surrounds.

WhaleRIder, this speaks to my earlier point @ 237 re: hofmann’s “problem child” — many factors here include; dosage, ‘set and setting,’ predisposition / preparation (ritual), social/ cultural stigma / expectations, emotional / psychological maturity, and especially, ability to process the experience and possible ramifications / repercussions therefrom.


284. Messages From Marconi - March 5, 2015

All this drug talk has put me in the mood to reminisce. I will tell you a tale about a drug experience that most certainly did produce the so-called higher states of consciousness within me.

Again, I was just 16 or so and was therefore fearless, reckless, restless, listless and looking to “work on through to the other side.” This was the Newport ‘69 Devonshire Downs “rock concert” and senseless tramp/hippy riot “happening” on a Saturday afternoon. We were smoking some opiate laced hash and all dropped L just inside the fence of the concert. I was sporting a new buckskin fringed jacket and a black felt Mad Hatter’s hat. Long-story short, for some reason that I could never explain to myself, there was a disturbance near one of the gates and I moved into a large crowd of rowdy hippies who were throwing stuff over the closed chain link gate toward the general vicinity of some cops. Everyone in the crowd was focused with intensity toward the resulting army of police assembling outside the fence in Roman Legion formation. At a certain point the police were prepared and advanced in military formation to the gate wherein the chain and lock securing the gate was cut off and the large chain link doors were thrown open. I was mesmerized at the sight of a battalion of perfectly arranged uniformed police officers advancing in lockstep through the gates and into the arena where tens of thousands of stoned music worshipers were itching for a confrontation. As the police advanced I unthinkingly held my ground vaguely expecting a titanic battle between the unruly civilians and the distasteful military perfectionism of “the man.”

Vaguely in the distance I could hear someone shouting my nickname. When I took my eyes off the marching, advancing dark blue centurions and looked around to see who it could be that was calling out to me and why, that’s when I experienced the “third state of higher consciousness.” What stimulated it was the recognition that the crowd had backed away from the relentless onslaught of a certain beating, leaving me standing there staring in wide-eyed wonder all alone. The police battalion was dangerously close and the supporting hippy army was many yards behind me. Unknown to me, because I had lost track of the crowd mentality, was that my apparent bravery was being cheered on by a thousand stoned hooligans. The instant I realized my position in the imminent melee I experienced what is referred to as a higher state of consciousness.

285. WhaleRider - March 5, 2015

Thanks for the correction, Marconi, I remember now that you said your friends were in the process of taking you to the hospital, and you broke through the rear window of the car on the way. I didn’t realize the trip to the hospital the next day you mentioned back then was for just cuts and bruises.

I may have misremembered, but I thought you were treated briefly with antipsychotic medication after your ordeal (?).

But I don’t remember you relishing that particular experience as a religious conversion or anything like that. And from what you are saying that trip didn’t stop you from experimenting with more drugs.

Given your numerous forays into the narcotic night, I think that’s why you often write in a non-linear, poetic fashion, which I sometimes enjoy reading, since like it or not, I consider you among my peer group. You recognize the same writing style in Paul Gregory…a kind of abstract expressionism with some esoteric spirituality thrown in.

Heck, a friend of mine from my youth cut off his hand with a steak knife “because it offended him” during his religious experience on PCP. That’s psychotic behavoir, IMO.

It’s a wonder we survived our youth!

Maybe drugs are nature’s way of separating the weak from the strong?

I think many of us, myself included, shared the aim of achieving “higher states of consciousness” without drugs as one of the motivations for joining the cult in the first place.

From what I heard first hand a few years ago, several long time followers still in the cult have resorted to using psychedelics to access mystical experiences, speaking to the dearth of “accumulated hydrogens” they apparently lacked from their years of cult practices.

Have we just gone full circle here or have we learned anything?

286. leaf - March 5, 2015

267. Tim Campion – March 5, 2015
Robert Stolzle,

Do you recall (I think while he was still in his 30s) Robert Burton predicting that he would die at age 72? Consistent with his posing as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, he even expressed the expectation that he would be martyred. Well, he’s now nearing his 76th birthday. Some of us were hoping he’d get at least one prediction right.

Later on, Burton suggested a comparison to Bob Hope.

There’s the first name Bob; i.e., “Robert.” And then you have the last name Hope, which refers to hope for humanity, or the Ark. Burton surmised that he might live as long as Bob Hope. I don’t think he ever made an official prediction, since if he had learned his lesson by that time not to be too exact with his prophecies (he’s still about 0-for-4 on them). It was probably just some passing commentary and wishful thinking. Hope lived to be 100.

287. ton2u - March 5, 2015

281 WhaleRider

From the ‘sounds’ of it, I’m sure he did experience “temporary psychosis.” my point is, although too many had this sort of experience, it still can’t accurately be generalized to include everyone else… I’m sure Golden Veil would agree… and if “drugs” hadn’t “caught up with him” (at the ripe old age of 88), I would think Francis Crick might also agree.


288. leaf - March 5, 2015

266. Barbara and 272. Robert Stolzle

Yes, not allowing angles at the meetings was a fairly obvious way to control the message. Specific people (not just anyone) would read from cards handed down from Burton.

I think numerous people began to question it, and did eventually leave because of that and other reasons, while many others followed along no questions asked. It was just the new form of the school, and at least you had a chance to see Robert sitting up there and sharing his higher energies, that sort of thing. Being in his presence was a privilege. “Let us toast to our good luck,” and so on. Hypnotism.

289. Messages From Marconi - March 5, 2015


“I may have misremembered, but I thought you were treated briefly with antipsychotic medication after your ordeal (?).”

Your machine has a tendency to over dramatize and thus distort.

290. leaf - March 5, 2015

265/Robert Stoltzle
“I have seen some intelligent people with very strange beliefs (e.g. FoFers) and would have to suggest that, if this is the case, it might be some sort of emotional wiring problem rather than a question of intelligence or education that leads to this type of thinking (magical).”

268. jomopinata – March 5, 2015
“I like Michael Shermer’s statement that “[s]mart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.” ”

I think you’re correct that there may be an emotional aspect to it… something “off” or missing in that regard, at least until someone grows out of it.

But here’s my take:
Many thousands of people who met the FoF were smart enough not to join, or if they did join, they were smart enough to leave right away. They were a few notches above many of us in that department.

In my view, people are not just “smart” or “not smart,” black or white. Some people are incredibly intelligent in certain areas, while those same people are incredibly lacking in intelligence in other areas. When someone joins the FoF, and especially when someone sticks around for a few years, it’s not smart. There’s no way to sugarcoat it.

291. WhaleRider - March 5, 2015

“Your machine has a tendency to over dramatize and thus distort.”


292. Barbara - March 5, 2015

288. leaf “…at least you had a chance to see Robert sitting up there”

Yes, I was going to mention the angles from remarkable people printed in cards, given beforehand to specially selected speakers… almost always the same “prominent students”. Teaching payments discounts and vouchers for events traded for such purpose. I never got one such card myself, although my husband paid for the meetings.

But before that, at Peter B’s last meeting lead at the Galleria I raised my hand at least four times, seating in second raw, but never got the chance to ask the question!

293. Barbara - March 6, 2015

oh, row

294. ton2u - March 6, 2015

293 Barbara

“…never got the chance to ask the question!”

so what was the question?

295. Robert Stolzle - March 6, 2015

Re: Psychotropic drugs etc.

As someone else suggested here, in my experience, there is a huge difference between narcotic and psychedelic drugs. Experimenting with those differences were one reason the idea of “centers” made sense to me. I have to say, though, that after a 10 hour trip I didn’t want another “experience” for a few weeks, at least. Not quite sure why—-I never really had a bad trip, just some intense experiences. One commonality was that I usually had to get away from people, even friends, at the peak of the trip. I had an acquaintance who set himself the goal of dropping acid every day for a year. Last time I saw him (decades ago) he seemed more or less normal—–no word on his chromosomes, though. Marconi, you seem to have been bolder than most, did your experiences make you want more right away? I was physically and emotionally “wrung out”.

In my opinion, the “chemical imbalances in the brain” comments aren’t any stigma. I think all human traits can be seen as falling on some “bell shaped curve” with our mental functioning (as controlled by our brain’s chemistry) being no exception. We all share basic behavior, including our thinking, and yet we are all unique in some manner, too. How I discuss FoFer and other behavior here is mostly a matter of perspective and experience (isn’t everything?) and not a judgment meant to stigmatize or criticize. Everyone has slightly different strengths and weaknesses but, having gotten this far, I can’t imagine anyone being stigmatized here by my ramblings……no matter how screwed up you are. (“That’s another joke, son!)

A few years back (90’s maybe), there were several books published on the subject of “emotional intelligence” and that idea got a lot of media attention for a while; it seemed pretty similar to the Fourth Way ideas. My experience of the FoF membership—and I include myself here—again!—ton2u—-was that many members were emotionally immature in many different ways. For me, the group seemed to offer a safe environment to develop emotionally (while continuing to play with drugs). And, this is not to say that cheap rent and unattached females weren’t part of the draw, too. Both are true.

When I left in 1977, RB was still at the front of almost all of the weekly meetings and presenting “angles of thought” along with the various centers “student” leaders. He could usually be approached there or at the farm with some burning personal question, if necessary, although it was discouraged to bother the great man with your petty problems. I only had a couple of exchanges with him…..my problem, a “non-existence feature” don’t you know. This was way before the cult went international. I gather from the postings here that even getting to see the old devil today costs money. Well, I suppose that “you don’t value what you don’t pay for”. But, then too, there is no “one liner” so profound that it can’t be twisted to “someone’s” personal gain. Its the emotionally naive who have to pay to learn this lesson.

Bob Stolzle

296. nevasayneva - March 6, 2015

re 278 Golden veil…
Thanks for posting. I read that also. Great article. Although the US pharmaceutical-medical-industrial complex is much maligned in public discourse (possibly due to their idiotic TV ads) you read an article like this and realize the amazing work they are doing.

297. ton2u - March 6, 2015


thanks for continuing the ‘discussion’… this forum can be many things, a confessional, a soapbox, a place for ‘processing’ experience, and from time to time dialogue and discussion even enters in.

“As someone suggested….”
no not you “Someone” — it was me… (or is it “I”)…. (that’s another joke “son” — from time to time a poster named “Someone” appears here… in case you didn’t get it).

“psychotropic drugs” should not be conflated with “entheogens” — a whole different animal… and ‘angel dust’ (PCP) is not an not an “entheogen” — “spirits” can be dangerous, if not deadly… “demonic spirits” are associated with some of these substances… maybe all of them, dependent upon the recipient(s), dosage, circumstances, situation, and etc.

ignorance is not bliss


298. ton2u - March 6, 2015
299. fofblogmoderator - March 7, 2015

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